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New Article: Hagay and Meyers, National Narrative in Coverage of Israeli National Soccer Team Matches

Hagay, Haim and Oren Meyers. “Everybody’s Team? The National Narrative in the Hebrew Press Covering Israeli National Soccer Team Matches.” Media, Culture, and Society 37.4 (2015): 530-46.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/

 

Abstract

Sports media offer a unique discourse site because the nationalistic nature of reporting is often radicalized and in most cases ‘the national flag is waved with eternal enthusiasm’. Therefore, this study examined changes in the coverage of the Israeli national soccer team between 1949 and 2006 through an exploration of the identity of the journalistic narratives’ storytellers and protagonists. Our findings illuminate a complex picture: whereas during the Israel’s formative era sports reporters pursued a patriotic narrative that praised the players for their fighting spirit and contribution to national prestige, in recent decades the sports sections echo a new variety of local, professional, and gender voices that challenge the supposedly natural hegemony of national identity. These changes can be explained by factors rooted in the fields of journalism, sports, and the politics of identity.