Article by Shari Lamke
Last December, tpt and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport debuted a documentary about media coverage and female athletes. Since then, the partnership has achieved three major milestones:
1) The documentary won a 2014 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award in the “Sports – Documentary” category;
2) Media Coverage and Female Athletes will be airing in several PBS markets beyond Minnesota; and
3) Segments of the film will be featured in an upcoming exhibit with Clio Visualizing History, a nonprofit focused on educational American history projects.
When we talked to Tucker Center Director, Mary Jo Kane, and Associate Director, Nicole LaVoi, they were very enthusiastic about these successes.
For Mary Jo, it was especially important to have the program recognized for its Emmy® win in the “Sports – Documentary” category rather than a niche one. As a result, the award emanates a greater gravitas to the academic and sports communities.
“The award feels like a validation of our work and that people recognize the research we do. The documentary has also provided a way for us to increase awareness and educate the public on this issue and hopefully will provide a vehicle for us to push for social change. “
The recognition is making a difference, too, in terms of its impact. Since its premiere, colleagues both locally and nationally have been reaching out to the Tucker Center to congratulate them on the documentary, and many have requested a copy of the program for their own educational usage.
Additionally, thanks to the recent Emmy® win, 11 PBS markets beyond Minnesota have chosen to feature the documentary on their air, some broadcasts as soon as this month. These markets have stations that subscribe to NETA, or the National Educational Telecommunications Association. Through this subscription, stations in Connecticut, Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio will carry this program for free, and more may still choose to broadcast it.
Furthermore, Mary Jo was approached by Clio Visualizing History. Segments of Media Coverage and Female Athletes will be featured in an upcoming online exhibit entitled, “Click! The Ongoing Feminist Revolution”, which is slated to debut April 2015.
Lola Van Wagenen, Founder and Director of Clio, has been a long-time recipient of Tucker Center literature. Upon learning about the documentary, she contacted Mary Jo to see if Clio could include segments in their exhibit. Since the program was coming from the Tucker Center, Lola “knew it would be based in solid research and authenticity [and] as soon as I saw the film, I knew that it would be perfect for us.”
Connie Beliveau, Administrator at Clio, went on to describe how, “this film fits extremely well in [the] chapter called ‘Body and Health,’ which deals with self-image, access and fairness, and many other aspects of the women’s health movement.”
It’s been a year full of accomplishments. All of us at tpt look forward to what’s next for the Tucker Center and their work about female athletes!