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Does Social Media Have an Impact on Women's Sports?

Monday, October 19, 2009 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 1:54 PM, under

There surely must be some impact from social media on women's sports. How much is anybody's guess. But the topic will be front and center tonight as the University of Minnesota's Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport hosts a lecture entitled Facing Off Over Facebook: The Impact of Social Media on Women’s Sports.

For those readers who may be interested but are too far away from Minnesota, you can watch the presentation live on the Tucker Center web site. You can also download the flier for the event.

Here is information on the lecture and the participants.

Facing Off Over Facebook:
The Impact of Social Media on Women’s Sports

Monday, October 19 • 7:00-9:00 PM CST
Hubert H. Humphrey Center • West Bank Campus

About the Panel: Over the past 30 years, scholars have documented numerous ways in which traditional sport media marginalize and sexualize female athletes. Into this vast—and influential—media landscape appears the recent and exponential explosion of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Will this technological paradigm shift challenge or reproduce the ways in which female athletes are traditionally portrayed in mainstream sport media? Will the unprecedented popularity of social media—and the alternative “ways of knowing” it provides to traditional media—fundamentally alter how we view women’s sports? Panelists with diverse experiences and perspectives will “face off” and take on these important and largely unexplored questions as we move into the Age of New Media.

About the Panelists

Marie Hardin: Associate Professor of Journalism and Associate Director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State University, Professor Hardin’s research explores diversity, ethics and professional practices in sports media. She has published extensively in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Sociology of Sport Journal, and Sex Roles. In 2006, Hardin received the Mary Ann Yodelis Smith Award for Feminist Scholarship from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her recent research focuses on social attitudes of sports journalists and bloggers, as well as career paths of women in sport journalism.

Rachel Blount: Sports reporter and columnist for the Star Tribune, Blount has covered a wide range of sports including the NHL, NBA, WNBA, college hockey, and the last six Olympic Games. One of the few female sports columnists in the country, Blount has won numerous journalism awards including national recognition from the Associated Press Sports Editors and state-wide honors from the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists for her sports features and columns. Blount graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has a Master’s degree from the University of Missouri’s prestigious School of Journalism.

Angela Ruggiero: One of the most accomplished women’s hockey players in the world, Ruggiero is a three-time Olympic medalist and World Champion, leader of the 2010 U.S. Women’s Hockey National Team, record holder for most games played for Team USA, and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. Ruggiero graduated cum laude with a degree in government from Harvard University, where she was an NCAA First-Team Academic All-American. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Sports Management at the University of Minnesota. Ruggiero uses multiple social media platforms to promote her individual career as well as women’s hockey.

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