Last week we announced our partnership with Swinburne University of Technology’s Sport Innovation Research Group where we would spend a whole month collecting daily data of mainstream media coverage of women’s sport.
Last week, the numbers were not great. We only saw one day reach over 10% of coverage, Sunday April 6. To put this number into context, Sunday April 6 included a lot of commentary and opinion pieces about Rugby Australia CEO, Raelene Castle‘s leadership during the early impacts of COVID-19 on the league. We tally coverage of women’s sports as well as women in sport.
Sport Lifestyle Culture also recorded the Sunday stats and our friend Noely highlighted that if we removed those commentary pieces from the total and represented pieces that only focussed on women’s sports, the number would fall dramatically to 4.28%
This week, things have further deteriorated. We didn’t reach double figures at all.
It’s another devastating blow to women’s sports, when they are already in such a precarious position at the moment and could really use some support and coverage.
But it appears during this time, most of the little coverage that is afforded to women in sport fell back into the tropes of what we’ve seen over such a long time. Cliched and outdated perspectives and angles that we thought we might have moved on from.
We’re still not seeing the level of nostalgia, re-visiting and re-living of matches and moments in women’s sports anywhere near what we’re seeing of men’s sports. We were at least lucky enough to have the wonderful writers Samantha Lewis and Erin Delahunty contribute their favourite women in sport moments to give us something, but we’re so far off par it’s heartbreaking.
Let’s hope next week we see an increase.