Graduate Program

Communication Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Thesis Director

Marita Gronnvoll

Thesis Committee Member

Matthew J. Gill

Thesis Committee Member

Samantha Szczur


Most of the sports industry is a male dominated space where women are very rarely accepted. We see men in the field, whether they work or play, defend the space and tell women reporters to “stay in their lane.” This study focuses on an online news-sharing site, reddit, and examines how sports fans take it upon themselves to defend sports as a male space. Reporters, such as Sarah Spain, Jemele Hill, and Doris Burke, are subjected to hundreds of comments that silence them and discipline them based on their gender. This study emphasizes the need for gender equality in what we define as a male space, specifically sports reporting, and also how education from a young age can help erase the gender gap.