Newspaper Representation of Women Athletes in 1984 and 1994

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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This research was to assess changes in Great Britain (GB) in the percent coverage of women’s sports in six national and Sunday newspapers (Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Express, Mail and Mirror) between 1984 and 1994. Measurements were taken of all sports articles on the front pages, editorial pages and sports pages for the period 1st-14th July in both years. Data were categorized into male only, female only and mixed articles per day, square centimetres per day and photos per day. There was a decrease in percentage coverage of women’s sport coverage (articles per day down 5.2%; cm2 per day down 5.2%; photos per day down 7.1%) while the overall coverage of sport increased. During the time period the portion of GB Olympians who were women increased by 7% and there was a 3% increase in proportion of sports participants in the general population who were women. An adjustment index is presented which uses population figures and sport participation figures to calculate the proportion of sport participants who are female. This index was used to assess fairness in reporting sport.

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