Women’s Sport vs The Media – Weekly newspaper roundup

Welcome one and all to the Sunday paper round up of women’s sport, a weekly plough through of the biggest titles in UK press to report back on whether and where women’s sport gets a mention.  Expect suspense, tears, sexism and a pleasant surprise along the way.  I will also tell you now, as to set your expectations at the correct level, that there is no mention anywhere of the women’s Euro Cup draw earlier this week not the World Series Netball tournament that England are currently playing in. Now, on with the show…

Sunday Mirror

The Sunday Mirror’s ability to report on football never ceases to amaze me. The paper’s sports section this week features 1 double page on some cricket and tennis (men’s), a double page on rugby (men’s) and then fills the rest of its pages with reporting on football.  Fair enough you may say, there’s nothing unusual about a paper dedicating a large amount of their pages to the biggest sport in the UK, but if you search further through the paper you’ll also find, embedded between the pages, a pull out magazine dedicated to football.  More football.  Another 20 pages on football.  How is there that much to say about football?!

The Sunday Mirror has not been renown in our round ups to be an advocate of women’s sport, however this week, in amongst the dedicated football pull out magazine, sat a story that shocked me to much when I saw it my sharp intake of breath made my flatmate look up at me with concern.  Yes, there in the top right hand corner is a box entitled ‘Women’s Football’ with a (somewhat brief) report on Sunderland’s match against Charlton in the Women’s Premier League (it ended 4-1 to Sunderland btw).  Yes it’s not much and amongst the 34 pages of men’s football it may seem vaguely insignificant, however for the Sunday Mirror to even mention women’s football feels like an achievement beyond measurable scale.

The Independent on Sunday

Ah Indie old friend, you don’t let us down.  If any one will report on women’s sport it will be you, you’re always on the case, you’re….BLOODY HELL INDIE.  You have let us down, you’ve let yourself down and you have disappointed us all this week with your pages free of any X chromosomes at all.  Now go and sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done.

The Sunday Telegraph

Apart from the small photo of Rory McIlroy with his pretty tennis playing girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki sat on his lap there are no women at all in the Sunday Telegraph Sports section.  Not good enough.

The Observer

I did think that if anyone would report on the Euro 2013 football draw it would be The Observer, but alas no.  They do however report on Amy Ryan, who recently became the first female rider to ever win the champion apprentice rider award after riding 46 winners this year. There’s also a full page article on Becky James, Team GB’s cycling star, on her journey from having her appendix removed pre London 2012 to her hopes for Rio 2016.  There’s also a good ‘After the Games’ column with reports on the Team GB cycling team who are back in the saddle at their first international competition post Olympics, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro’s drop from the no.1 spot in the dressage world rankings and Olympic rower Heather Stanning’s return to her day job in the Royal Artillery.

The Sunday Times

This week the ST’s Sportswoman of the Year awards took place, so it was only fitting for there to be a double page feature on the awards and winners. (See our blog from the other day for a full list of the winners for 2012)  Admittedly this double page does also have a couple of articles on men’s sport lurking at the bottom but after the shambles of coverage i’ve seen from some of the above press titles this looks positively dedicated to the plight of women’s sport.

So once again women’s sport is either relegated to snippet articles or supported in big features, but no plain and simple regular sports reporting apart from The Sunday Mirror.  I never thought i’d say this but maybe it’s time other sports journalists took a long hard look in the (Sunday) Mirror (Football pull out)…



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