The Conversation of Sport - Are Women Visible in Sports News Coverage?

To the Change Our Game community,

Today, the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation is proud to launch The Conversation of Sport: Representation of Women in Sports News Coverage.

This research, delivered in partnership with global media insights firm Isentia, has established a baseline for the representation of women in sports news coverage in Victoria, looking at more than 34,600 pieces of media available in Victoria in the year leading up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The research found only 15% of sports news coverage in Victoria was focused on women’s sport in 2022-23, with women’s sport also less likely to receive deeper coverage and analysis.

In fact, only 4 of the top 20 sports by volume of coverage were found to have what we would describe as at least gender balanced coverage.

Why are we focused on this? We're glad you asked.

Reducing the gap in media coverage is fundamental to advancing gender equality in sport and beyond.

With the study finding that across print, online, radio news and TV news, 5.4 pieces of sports news was being created on men’s sport for every piece created on women’s sport, this persistent skew in coverage is influencing who we, as a society, celebrate and hold up as heroes, leaders and experts.

This skew in coverage is also fuelling negative stereotypes in community sport around ‘who sport is for’ and ‘who is more important’ and is limiting the ability for women’s elite sport to fully professionalise.

What can you do about it?

The world we live in isn’t something that happens to us. It’s something we shape. At the current rate of change, something resembling gender balance in sports news coverage won’t occur until 2048.

So, let’s do something about that.

The Conversation of Sport
contains a series of recommendations from the Office for Women in Sports and Recreation to drive ecosystem change across media and sport.

Why not take a look and identify where you can play a role in driving change moving forward. Because while it’s important to know for sure where things are at, it’s also important to not get stuck focusing only looking backwards.

We hope you join us in supporting media and sporting organisations alike to deliver stronger outcomes for women in sports media tomorrow, and every day after that.

Read The Conversation of Sport here:

Research Study - The Conversation of Sport: Representation of Women in Sports News Coverage 2022-23.

Sarah Styles
Director - Office for Women in Sport and Recreation

Note: The Conversation of Sport been released alongside applications opening for the 2023-24 Change Our Game Women in Sports Media Program.

Wednesday 28th February, 2024

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