The ASC required solid evidence that women’s sport received less media exposure than men’s sport to strengthen its case for increased funding to promote women’s sport.
The ASC also needed an in-depth understanding of the way women’s sports and female athletes were portrayed, in order to build its strategy for achieving greater recognition of women’s sport in the media.
Isentia collaborated with the Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of New South Wales to provide in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis of women’s sport in the media.
Isentia provided the ASC with compelling proof of the extreme disparity in the amount of focus on male and female sport across all media. Isentia showed that coverage of women in sport made up 9% of all sports television news.
The analysis successfully demonstrated the need for greater government support of women’s sport.
On releasing the report, the government reaffirmed its commitment to raising the profile of women’s sport in Australia through a wide range of investments.
Beyond providing evidence to build the case for greater government support, the report also gave the ASC empirical data that can be used to benchmark future research, so the organisation is able to track and demonstrate shifts in the profile of women in sport over time.
“The Towards A Level Playing Field: sport and gender in Australian media report is the first of its kind both in Australia and internationally in terms of the range and quantity of media it covers and the depth with which it analyses the representation of women and sport. This groundbreaking report gives the ASC empirical data about the media coverage of female athletes that can be used to benchmark future research in this area. It contains good news and bad news about progress toward a level playing field in media coverage of women’s sport.”
Linda Muir, Manager Clubs/Juniors/Women,
Australian Sports Commission.