Written to the song: Kiss It Better (cover) — Miguel

“Even if we try to conform to ideals and strive for perfection, we will always be pulled back to our core identity because it’s the path of least resistance for our souls — an energy force that wants nothing more than for us to honor and accept who we are and discover what we’re meant to do in the world.”
Jennifer Elizabeth

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro.

Language has power, especially when journalists report the news. The Olympics is a time where the whole world comes together to celebrate the most powerful athletes. Our true nationalism comes out, and every one seems to be so emotionally driven by the games — ignoring many political issues surrounding the Olympics (corruption, homeless roundups, and security concerns).

Jardim Botanico, Rio de Janeiro.

Women have been competing particularly well in the Olympics. For Canada, women are killing it — winning more Olympic medals than men. Why are some journalists crediting men?

For example, when the American athlete Corey Cogdell-Unrein won a bronze medal for woman’s trap shooting, the Chicago Tribune’s headline was: “Wife of Bears’ lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics”. (Bannon, 2016). Does she even have a name?

Journalists have the power of altering the perception of the news through the use of passive and active voice, and omitting of certain information. Passive writing is the presentation of facts to create a voice of verbs, where the subject undergoes the action of the verb. For example: “The American biker was defeated by the Canadian biker”. The active equivalent is “The Canadian biker beat the American biker”. Journalists often use the active voice (the subject of the sentence is performing the role) when reporting the news as it provides more intrigue, prompting readers to check out the news.

In terms of omitting information (which I believe to be unethical), the Olympic journalists reporting the sexist headlines are not giving credit to the athletes that fully deserve it. This leads to misinformation and frustration. How dare you credit the husband and not the athlete who worked her whole life for her medal?

This lesson is a reminder to take everything you read with a grain of salt. Be critical of articles, think of issues from a different perspective, and ask questions.

GO TEAM CANADA!!

Sources:

Bannon, Tim. “Corey Cogdell, Wife of Bears Lineman Mitch Unrein, Wins Bronze in Rio.” Chicagotribune.com. N.p., 8 Aug. 2016. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.

Author of “Q & A a Day for Travelers”. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-frenkel/

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