In Swedish Public service Television, sports journalism aimed at children has been broadcast since November 1983. It is a success story of how TV has helped to nurture Swedish children and make them accustomed to practising sport themselves, and to watching sports news and sports events on the same TV channel as they become adults.
The present article is a content analysis of how the constructions of Swedish football culture are reported and presented by the popular Swedish Public Service TV program Little Mirror of Sports. It will demonstrate how media content in public service television may serve as ideal representations of sport and football in general and, in particular, provide representations of gender identities and ethnicity for young football-playing girls and boys.Our understanding of the relationship between sport and media may also be increased by studying a sports program produced for young Swedish citizens.
The main question is how football is represented in Little Mirror of Sports. In the analysis and discussion, I will focus on the processes of football journalism, youth culture, gender identities, ethnicity and mediated cultural meaning.
The total number of newly-produced and broadcast Little Mirror of Sports programs per year is thirty-two. The program is broadcast once a week, except during the summer, when reruns from the previous season are shown. The selected forty-one episodes, on which this analysis is based, consist of nineteen sequences from 2007 and twenty-two sequences from 2008. The selection and demarcation has been guided by focusing on football content. I shall concentrate on sequences containing football reportage about two famous football players, Marta Vieira da Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, also including some other features such as the football culture of other national football stars and of the football-playing girls and boys in the selected content.
Göteborg: Nordicom, 2012. 285-299 p.