alexa Heroes in the sports pages: The troubled road to victory for Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen.
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Tim Hoebeke, Annelore Deprez, Karin Raeymaeckers

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Concepts such as myth and archetype offer interesting opportunities for research on media content. Both concepts, however, have very diffuse definitions and operationalizations stemming from specific fields of application. As a result, the concepts of myth and archetype have proved difficult to translate into a transparent and replicable research design to study journalistic output. This paper aims at a thorough operationalization of the hero myth/archetype. The hero archetype will be explored in detail as it is one of the most common archetypal narratives. The archetypal hero journey is translated by developing an operational hero grid in which the archetypal hero narrative is classified in nine sequences and three constituent components. The Flemish press coverage of cyclist Tom Boonen is analyzed to test empirically the developed research tool. While the emphasis of this paper lies on the empirical testing of this research tool, it also aims to broaden empirical data on the coverage of sport figures in the press. Results clearly show myth at work in the newspaper reporting on Tom Boonen.

This article was published in Journalism Studies and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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