Ever since I did the media round up on Sunday I’ve been having a festering source of rage that has been building up in my tummy and now I feel I need to projectile vomit this rage in an Exorcist type style. Its not a pleasant image, but this is also not a pleasant subject.
The Sunday Mirror had approximately 35 pages of football coverage this week if you combine the paper itself and the free football magazine that comes with it -that’s enough for each premier league team to have a double page spread. Needless to say that 34 and 7/8ths of the pages featured the men’s game; the highs, the low, the dramas, the goals, the coaches, the (mental) fans, the unfathomable amount of money, however, tucked into the top corner of one of the pages in the separate football magazine sat 150 words on women’s football.
Jump to the Sunday Times. Earlier on in the week the ST announced the winners of their Sportswoman of the year award, a prestigious award that pays homage to the women that drive the sporting world either through their sporting ability or their management in the boardroom. Winners this year included Sue Tibbalds, JEnnis, Ellie Simmonds, Clare Lomas and Baroness Sue Campbell, all of which were featured in the celebratory double page feature in this weeks ST.
Obviously this is brilliant. A huge double page in one of the leading Sunday publications supporting the high achievers of the female sporting world is nothing to be scoffed at. However, on flicking through the rest of the ST’s sport supplement I noticed it quite devoid of any other women’s sport. There were a few NIBS and summaries, but no solid sport reporting.
And this is how it seems to be. Looking back over the Sunday Paper round-ups we’ve done so far there seems to be huge features on a woman in a particular sport, small references to an important match or interesting story or nothing at all. What is it going to take for the media to just report on women’s sport in the same way it does men?
The key features are great, but why not also just, well, follow the sport? When Emma Crocker appeared in The Observer a few weeks ago it was a big boost to the profile of women’s rugby, but then why doesn’t the paper now, you know, report on women’s rugby? Just have it there, rugby, football, cricket, netball, alongside men’s sports, reported in the same way by the same journalists.
The media may argue that there isn’t the demand, but how will they know if they don’t attempt it? And as highlighted earlier on this week, according to social media, women’s sport is actually very much in demand.