Women’s Sport vs. The Media – Newspaper Round-up

charlotte edwards

A short apology to preface this week’s slightly shortened edition of the weekend media roundup: your writer has bruised ribs and resultantly very, very little sleep over the last couple of nights.  Rather than subjecting the readership to a trip through the stranger regions of a sleep deprived psyche, we’ll try and keep it short and sweet.

This week really oughtn’t to be too tough for the papers.  Six Nations, Sevens World Series, Cricket World Cup and all the usual goings on of the women’s sporting calendar mean there’s plenty to report from.  In theory.

The Sunday Telegraph

The newspaper equivalent of the Tory heartland proves an utter disgrace this week, with just barely half a paragraph at the bottom of the men’s six nations report informing the readership of England Ladies’ 76-0 defeat of Scotland proving to be the only mention of women in sport this week.  The Cricket World Cup goes entirely unacknowledged.  Shockingly awful.

The Sunday Express

Having never once picked up a copy of the Sunday Express before, today represented something of a departure from the usual Sunday media offering.  As a result, it took a while to find the sport pull-out which sits somewhere in the middle of the paper and many an anguished flick through the Express pages before it emerged, nestling in deep hiding.  Frankly, it wasn’t worth the effort, nor the £1.35 price tag, for not a mention of women’s sport was to be found.  What a week this is turning out to be.

The Observer

Ah, faithful Observer.  Yet even the spiritual home of women’s sport is somewhat disappointing this week.  A quarter-page match report of the England Women’s Six Nations victory is welcome and encouraging, yet aside from a brief mention of Holly Bleasdale and Christine Ohuruogu’s appearances at the British Athletic European Trials and UK Championships this week is the entirety of the paper’s other output this week.  Not good, guys, not good.

The Sunday Mirror

Astonishingly, despite having a dedicated football pullout, the Sunday Mirror insists on also dedicating approximately 85% of its main sports pages to the weekend’s football action too.  Which, frankly, makes for pretty boring reading, even for a football fan like yours truly.  But then again, we don’t buy the Sunday Mirror for its breadth of coverage.  We buy it for its reliable mention of women’s football, which this week features Megan Doherty of FA Cup minnows Morecambe, aiming to upset the odds against Premier League team Coventry in today’s third round match.  Frankly, we’ve no idea if she did because the results of today’s games don’t appear on either the FA’s Women’s Cup page, or the Coventry LFC website.  At least the Sunday Mirror found something to mention.  Nothing else, mind.

The Sunday Times

Until last week, when we happened to make mention of it on Twitter, this Sportist writer had no idea that the other half of the Sportist didn’t entirely rate The Sunday Times’ women’s sports coverage.  Perhaps they have an ‘A’ team and a ‘B’ team who take it in weekly rotation, because once again The Sunday Times has far and away the greatest degree of women’s sport coverage.

Not only is there the expected Six Nations match report (with picture AND quarter page) but also an exceptionally welcome mention of the Cricket World Cup (how did no other paper think that this was worth covering?!) and a front and mid-page piece on Rebecca Adlington’s forthcoming retirement from the swimming world and her (now former) coach’s promotion of GB Swimming Head Coach.

Not a great week, all told given the material journalists have had to work with.  Come on – we can do better than this, can’t we?

CS.

Image from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket (So they will feature women’s cricket online, just not in the papers….thanks)

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4 comments

  1. You sent me a reply about your blog yesterday (SUN). The fact that you are reading two or three papers means you missed features and stories about women in other newspapers including one you seem reluctant to even buy in the first place. The Mail on Sunday had a feature amond others on Holly Bleasadle. In addition both the Sun and the Mail on Sunday (it’s not called the Daily Mail on Sundays which shows how much you know about the media) employ on staff women sports writers unlike the papers you did review. Including myself – the first woman football writer in the country on a tabloid. The Mail also employs a woman writer in sport who even has a column on women’s sport most weeks. I regularly cover women sports stars and your view seems somewhat naive, especially as I pointed out initially you seem not to even read most papers..

    • Hi Vikki

      I did send you an email about this to discuss further and gain some advice on stories we may have missed out on however am sorry you feel this way about our blog. Unfortunately any time we have looked at the Sun on Sunday or Mail on Sunday (yes we do know what it’s called, one of the perks of working in the media industry) we have been thoroughly dissapointed with their coverage on women in sport and their attitude towards women in general however maybe we just picked it up on off days and are glad to see that they have so many female sports journalists on their staff. We were also happy to see the appointment of Alison Kervin being appointed sports ed. at the Mail on Sunday and hope this will mean a shift in attitude at the paper.
      Thanks for reading!

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