New research, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, was shared at Women in Sport’s Empower Conference in London, 18th October, highlighting that women’s sport is often ‘barely visible’ in all five nations studied.
FOPSIM attended along with the rest of the partners the conference in London, where key findings from each country where presented and the importance of making sportswomen visible in the media was discussed. As shown in the research, Malta is one of the countries with the lowest visibility of Sportswomen in the media, along with Greece.
With evidence of some countries failing to achieve more than 2% of coverage for women’s sport and around 30% of some channels having zero women’s sport coverage in some periods, this research shows there is still a long way to go in achieving parity for women’s and men’s sport
The challenge uncovered by the research is maintaining women’s sport coverage outside of just international competition. International competitions underpin higher coverage periods, although outside of these events, reporting diminished considerably when domestic competition was all that was available.
In terms of the quality of coverage of women’s sport, in the UK, 58% of women’s sport articles (online and print) and 51% of men’s sport articles, used action images, indicating a more equal tone of the sports coverage. In Sweden however, action shots were only used in 47% of women’s sport coverage compared to 67% of men’s sport articles.
In the UK, 31% of articles (online and print) used gender tagging – ‘women’s’ events for example, compared to only 3% of men’s sport articles. In Sweden this was just 2% for women’s sport articles by contrast
A number of best practice tools and initiatives have been outlined in the report, which were discussed and debated at the Empower Conference, sponsored by Skoda. The conference saw trailblazers, record breakers and campaigners discuss and celebrate how sport can help us to reach a fairer future. For more information on the conference visit www.womeninsport.org
The EU funded five organisations; EILD (Greece); FOPSIM (Malta); West Universtiy Timisoara (Romania), Girls in Sport (Sweden), and Women in Sport (UK) to explore the visibility of women’s sport in the media.
Nielsen Sport conducted primary research, providing an up-to-date measurement of women’s sport coverage in terms of quantity and quality aiming to uncover any disparities between men’s and women’s coverage, key areas where change might be needed and best practice in media coverage of women’s sport.
All countries hosted in-depth ‘information sessions’ with journalists and broadcasters to discuss the research and ways in which the media and sports organisations can be supported to increase and improve coverage of women’s sport
There were two parts to the research:
*number of channels/websites monitored varied by country
|COUNTRY||MONITORING PERIOD 1||MONITORING PERIOD 2||WHAT COVERED|
|Greece||23 July 17 – 23 Aug 17||06 Oct 17 – 06 Nov 17||TV; Online|
|Malta||28 Aug 17 – 28 Sept 17||01 Nov 17 – 01 Dec 17||TV; Online|
|Romania||10 July 17 – 10 Aug 17||15 Oct 17 – 15 Nov 17||TV; Online|
|Sweden||01 Sept 17 - 30 Sept 17||01 Mar 18 – 31 Mar 18||TV; Online|
|UK||23 July 17 – 23 Aug 17||28 Oct 17 – 28 Nov 17||TV; Online; Press|
Following the research, all countries hosted in-depth ‘information sessions’ with journalists and broadcasters to discuss the implications of the research, understand why certain things are happening and ways in which the media and sports organisations can be supported to increase and improve coverage of women’s sport.
Broadcast audiences for major women’s competitions have grown considerably. Audiences are comparable and, in some cases, greater than men’s sport events. For example: