Medianet has uncovered interesting data on the sports media industry and the women working in it based on a month-long analysis of the sports media landscape during January 2023.
The research from the media company provided a snapshot of the time that aimed to identify the number of women reporting in the sports industry and the frequency of female sports coverage.
Medianet selected nine major Australian outlets – broadcasters, newspapers, dedicated sports outlets, and official outlets – four major sporting codes. The time range was limited to the month of January 2023 as it was a month with proximities to major events (Australian Open, cricket test matches) and NRL and AFL off-seasons.
The criteria for the articles included bylines with a subject matter about the relevant sporting codes or competitions and excluded articles that focused on celebrity or scandal elements. Medianet analysed 1154 articles.
Criteria for journalists were that they had to be Australian journalists contributing written news articles to one of the selected outlets. Medianet noted there was a total of 184 journalists analysed for the research. In instances of articles with multiple bylined journalists, in which they were defined as female-authored if the article was written exclusively by female journalists.
Medianet found that of the female journalists in Australian mainstream sports media 17.4% were female in contrast to 82.6% male journalists. Meanwhile of the sport articles, 15.1% were written by female journalists while 84.9% were written by male journalists.
The analysis also found that there were large disparities between NRL and AFL. AFL.com.au had more articles with a focus on the female game, it found that 17% of articles were written by female journalists.
In contrast to NRL.com.au which had more female journalists writing, but less than 2% focussed on NRLW.
Medianet concluded from its findings that more visibility and investment in women’s sport than ever before and that increasing number of outlets are now providing a space for female sports journalists to write about female sports on their own terms.