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Reporting Stereotypes And The World Cup

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The World Cup is that rare event. The beautiful game really is that—an elegantly simple test of endurance and skill, and so incredibly accessible to any person, anywhere in the world. How can you not watch the world’s favourite pastime?


We are less than a month away from the games being kicked off in Brazil, the host country, and like cliched journalistic clockwork, the predictable stories have started rolling out on your local broadcast. Headlines like: Not everyone wants the games here or Is this the right priority for a developing country? and the ever popular: Will the stadiums be ready in time? 


Reporters, especially Western ones, love to use words like “frenzy,” “feverish” and “race against the clock” and while covering Brazil, they get to use sexy words like “favelas” and “shanty towns” and “poverty.” Have you ever noticed that when a European country hosts the World Cup, nobody talks about the country’s “wealth” or “exclusive suburbs”?


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