Sportsmen and women are better known and better paid than ever and the world is hungry for news about them. Sports journalism has long played an important role in attracting and retaining audiences but, according to one observer, it has recently become ‘the heart of the battle for newspaper circulation.’
If sports reporting is booming, what sports are being covered and who is doing the reporting? In both cases it seems that there is a significant gender issue, which is particularly acute in the United Kingdom.
During the London Olympics there was a noticeable increase in the coverage of female sports, but that dissipated in the months that followed. Outside the period of major sporting festivals the evidence from the Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation is that only 5% of total sports coverage relates to activities by women. Indeed women’s sport is such a paltry Cinderella area that it attracted only a tiny 1% of the total sponsorship and as is well known the salaries and facilities for women’s sport are miniscule by comparison to mens’.
But what is less well known is the position of women as reporters about sport.
Sports journalism has traditionally been seen as a male domain, and research conducted in Australia, for example, suggest that this tradition has not changed. Most sports reporters in the UK are male, and despite increasing numbers of women entering sports journalism since the women’s movement of the 1970s, the number of women sports writers remains very low.
In recent years there has been some considerable progress regarding the visibility of women in broadcast sports journalism. Again the London Olympics was a watershed for UK broadcasting, but there are still relatively few women sports writers in the newspaper industry, and sports journalism is still a largely male-dominated area in countries all over the world.
To find out who was writing about sport we conducted a number of byline surveys in the UK press. We compared six newspapers across two separate weeks in autumn 2012. In another survey we looked at the gender of bylines on sports articles in a different selection of seven newspapers. Once again it was a mixture of tabloid and ‘broadsheet’ publications. Here the aim was to compare a period six months before the London Olympics (February 2012) with six months after (February 2013). A third comparison was made with 2002, a decade before the Olympics in London. In total between both of these surveys almost 10,000 articles were looked at and the gender of the byline was noted.
We had expected the outcome to show that sports journalism is dominated by men, but the results were quite extraordinary. At no point in any of the periods we examined was the proportion of female bylines higher than 3%. There were occasions where the female contribution on one newspaper (Guardian and Daily Mail) for one week reached just over 4%, but the averages were well below this. Over all the periods we studied the average proportion of stories written by women was a mere 1.8%.
The article I published together with Deirdre O’Neill in Journalism, Theory, Practice and Criticism gives a detailed breakdown and analysis of all the data.
Two other factors struck us as especially surprising. The impact of the London Olympics on female sports writing was negligible, despite the relatively high profile of women in sport and sports broadcasting over that period. The figures for female bylines in 2013 were barely changed from the previous year. And indeed they were barely different from 2002.
A further observation is the extent to which the UK figures compare internationally. In 2011 a wide ranging German survey of sports writing across 22 countries examined 80 newspapers and a total of 11,000 separate articles. It found that the overall proportion of articles by female journalists was 8%. So although the results were not great, they were rather better than the UK figures.
The paucity of women writing about sport continues to be of wide concern. Surveys in the US reinforce our findings, showing the same lack of female sports editors and reporters. The US studies also indicate that there is still some prejudice faced by those women who do become sports journalists.
The first female sports editor of a UK national newspaper was appointed in 2013 when Alison Kervin took up the post at the Mail on Sunday. But that is only a small improvement and sports journalism has a long way to go before it can demonstrate a more balanced and equal workforce.
This article is based on Women Reporting Sport: Still a Man’s Game? Franks, S. & O’Neill, D
The post Why Are There (Almost) No Women in Sports Journalism? appeared first on European Journalism Observatory - EJO.
The Center for Public Integrity is investigating who is trying to influence the 2015 elections through television advertising, part of a broader effort to consider the sources behind political power in this country.
What is the Center tracking?
The Center created an app to track spending on political advertising on television for state-level elections around the country. The numbers are helpful barometers of how actively a candidate or group has been using television advertising.
Why should I care about the amounts spent on political television advertising?
Television advertising is one of the most popular and most expensive ways to reach voters. Tracking it provides one of the most comprehensive and comparable pictures available of campaign spending across the states. Money doesn’t always win races, but it often helps push a candidate or ballot measure to victory — or defeat. Tracking these ads helps identify who is trying to influence voters and change the outcome of elections. The ads also provide one of the most comprehensive and comparable pictures available of campaign spending across states.
How can I use this?
This information can help you see who is paying to influence your vote in the 2015 elections.
The opening views of the State Ad Wars Tracker shows at a glance when and where the biggest expenditures on TV ads have been. Browse a timeline of the ads by state and who sponsored the ad; see who’s running more this week than last; and who is running the most overall. Get key numbers and compare the size of ad buys between candidates, groups and political parties.
Who is paying for these ads?
Airtime for political advertising is purchased by candidate committees, political parties and independent groups.
What’s the difference between candidate committees, political parties and independent groups?
Political parties and independent groups are more likely to run negative ads that attack a candidate, allowing the candidate supported by the group to appear above the fray. Independent groups typically can accept money from corporations and unions, which candidates running for office cannot do in some states. Such independent groups often don’t have to disclose the same information about the sources of their funding as candidates or parties.
Where does this information come from?
The Center for Public Integrity analyzed data from Kantar Media/CMAG — CMAG stands for Campaign Media Analysis Group — which monitors television signals for political advertising nationwide. The group counts ads each time they run. Then, using a proprietary formula, it estimates how much it costs to place each ad. These may not match up exactly with the true costs of placing an ad. Think of the cost estimates as a well-informed guess, which can provide useful points of comparison.
What period does this information cover?
The information covers political television advertising that ran starting Jan. 1, 2014, geared toward the 2015 elections. To find spending on 2014 races, visit our 2014 Ad Wars tracker.
How often are these numbers updated?
The trackers will be updated weekly on Thursdays through the election and the Center for Public Integrity will be writing stories about what we find.
Which ads are included?
Kantar Media/CMAG monitors television ads that run on local broadcast TV in 211 media markets, as well as national network and national cable TV, but it doesn’t monitor local cable stations. So if an ad runs on a local cable channel, as some are expected to in the 2015 elections, it won't be counted here.
Does this include digital ads, such as those on YouTube? Ads from radio?
No, these numbers only reflect the ads that ran on television. Kantar Media/CMAG monitors most TV stations, but not local cable stations, online or the radio. It also does not include print advertisements.
How does this compare to what is available from government sources?
The estimates only cover television ads, not other kinds of political messages, such as ads that appear on radio or online. The estimates also only include how much money a candidate or organization spent to place the ad, not to make it. And it only counts the ads once they air. Records filed at the Federal Communications Commission, for example, can show TV airtime that groups pay to reserve for the future. The ad tracker also includes all ads containing overt candidate advocacy as well as “issue ads” that mention a candidate but don’t overtly call for the candidate’s election or defeat.
Why are the spending estimates different from other sources?
These numbers represent actual television ads that have already run. It doesn’t include the cost of producing the ads. It also doesn’t include ads that run on local cable, online or radio. It doesn’t include ads booked to run in the future. It does include ads that don’t expressly advocate for election or defeat. And it’s based on estimates. Counts from other sources are often different in one or more of these ways.
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Have more questions about these numbers? Want to interview one of our reporters for an article?
Email states team leader Kytja Weir or call our statehouse reporters’ hotline at 202-750-0686. Reporters should include what state and race they are writing about and their deadlines.
We are not far from the end of the first year of our new degree in social journalism at CUNY and I couldn’t be prouder of what the students and the faculty are accomplishing. (If you are interested in being part of the second class, now is the time to apply.) My best accomplishment in helping to start this degree was recruiting the amazing Carrie Brown to head the program.
I am learning a great deal from Carrie and our students as we grapple with some fundamental questions about the nature of journalism as a service, about the idea of internally focused vs. externally focused journalism, and about a community’s definition of itself. We have been looking at whom we serve in a community — and whose behavior we thus set out to change. We have been asking what the appropriate measures of success — of impact and value — should be. We, of course, we are learning much about the impact of new social tools on journalism and gaining skills in that realm as a result.
And we are producing a class of high-powered pioneers. At the Online News Association confab in L.A. a week ago Carrie and I found employers dying to get their hands on our soon-to-be graduates. When Sarah Bartlett and I came up with the idea for this degree, we knew we were betting on the come: that news organizations would need the journalists we would educate in this program. A damned good bet.
I asked Carrie for an update for you about what our students are working on in their practicums (practica?) in the communities they have chosen to serve and in some cases in internships in media companies. A sample of their work:
A photo posted by Carrie Brown (@brizzyc) on Feb 17, 2015 at 6:27pm PST
* Pedro Burgos has been teaching himself to code beyond what he learned in class and has built a sentiment analyzer using IBM Watson’s API to allow him to examine what kinds of Facebook strategies produce the best comments and dialogue. He has interviewed experts in improving comments from around the country as well. Pedro loves to challenge me in class discussion and I relish that for through that we are exploring new metrics that should guide our work in journalism.
* Luis Miguel Echegaray is interning this semester at Vice. He is also live blogging soccer in Spanish for The Guardian, which has garnered them a lot of traffic. Luis is also working to build his The Faces of Soccer website. He is going to be working with South Bronx United, a nonprofit org that not only offers soccer coaching but school tutoring. Luis intends to become the Anthony Bourdain of soccer. He will succeed.
* Rachel Glickhouse is interning this semester at Medium. She’s also freelancing for a number of outlets, including Al Jazeera America and Quartz. We are impressed by how her work helped one man get his deportation stayed. At Medium, Rachel is assisting with audience engagement and involving journalism schools in an upcoming investigation. She’s also developing her practicum to start a conversation on Medium and social media about the difficulties of becoming a legal resident in the U.S.
* Deron Dalton is interning with the Daily Dot. In addition to other stories, he is using the expertise he has developed serving #BlackLivesMatter there. He is also developing resources for journalists on how to cover the movement.
* Julia Haslanger is working with Chalkbeat to study how the organization can continue to grow its readership and engagement. Her journalism salary survey – results posted on Medium – has gotten a lot of attention and reaction, and she was invited to speak at The Media Consortium as a result. She is also doing research for the Kettering Foundation, interviewing social media and community engagement editors in newsrooms to learn more about how they approach their jobs and the skills they need.
* Nuria Saldanha — who first completed our certificate in Entrepreneurial Journalism — conducted her first media skills training in partnership with the Facebook Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab in the Heliópolis favela in São Paulo this August. People are learning how to use mobile devices to create text/photos/video. This is of particular benefit to small business that primarily use Facebook to promote their businesses. Facebook can use the Lab as a pilot project and expand it to other favelas and countries in Latin America. In collaboration with people she trains in media skills, she will produce 10 to 20 videos with elderly people from favelas, who are not familiar with the internet. Many of them migrated to the area while fleeing extreme poverty, moving São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro looking for a better life, but most ended up living in favelas and working in very low-skill jobs. She is also volunteering for BrazilFoundation, an organization that raises money to support social projects in Brazil, most of them related to her community.
* Emily Goldblum skipped the interim step of an internship when she was sought out for a job at The Odyssey. Her task there is to crowdsource stories from college students about a variety of topics. Her main goal is to diversify content with a specific focus on LGBTQ communities and has been working to cultivate more writers interested in writing about queer-focused topics.
* Aaron Simon has developed The Greenburg Post, an experimental community-journalism platform that seeks to collaborate with the residents and businesses that call North Brooklyn home. He has been reporting on a toxic Superfund site in the community and crowdsourcing stories and data about how the pollution has affected local residents.
* Sean Devlin is currently in Ireland interviewing Irish students who have participated in the J-1 graduate visa program, which allows them to spend 12 months in the United States interning and traveling. He has been serving the Irish community in New York for the past nine months and now went to the source to ask how social media (Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp) help Irish people in the U.S unite and get information.
* Erica Soto is working on a new kind of crowdfunding site for independent music artists. She writes: “SupportTour is Kickstarter meets Honeyfund for the indie musician on tour. At SupportTour, artists engage with fans by allowing them to participate in their tour experience. Instead of giving money for albums or studio space, fans purchase items directly for the artist. Just as Honeyfund allows users to register for honeymoon needs, artists will be able to register for tour needs such as hotel rooms, meals, additional gear and more. Fans then decide how they’d like to support the artists. They’ll even receive rewards when items are purchased. It could be a signed album, concert tickets, a secret Skype session or even a private dinner with their favorite artist. This is a chance for fans to become more involved with musicians on the road and for musicians to offer new incentive and creative fan experiences.”
* Adriele Parker’s goal is to “gather content to inform and share the stories of [African-Americans] that are suffering (or have suffered) from psychological disorders” and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. She has developed a “Our Stories in Light” podcast to share stories and it also continuing to develop a website.
* Betsy Laikin is building a media platform for women from the Middle East and North Africa currently residing in New York, in conjunction with her work at Women’s Voices Now. This will include community-produced written stories, audio podcasts, photography, and videos.
* Cristina Carnicelli Furlong organized an impressive roundtable with the American Society of Newspaper Editors and is building resources to educate reporters about how to cover pedestrian safety in New York.
If you are a journalist who wants to challenge the way that journalism services the public, then come apply. If you are an employer who wants these innovative journalists to help you change how you do journalism, let Carrie or me know.
We're gearing up for the Global Investigative Journalism Conference with coverage that is multimedia, multilingual, and multinational. Here's one of our new features: a social media wall that integrates #GIJC15 tweets and other items in a continuous flow. We're a week away and the wall is already buzzing.
Plus we'll have four streaming video channels and an international team posting stories, interviews, photos, video, and lots of social media from GIJC15's +170 sessions. You can also stay tuned to events through our conference app Sched, which lets users create their own schedule at the conference. It's a great way to find panels, speakers, friends, and special events.
We've got a terrific communications team assembling in Lillehammer next week, from Argentina, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Norway, Peru, and the United States. We'll be pushing out coverage on GIJN's Twitter and Facebook feeds, of course. But you'll also find us in Chinese on our Weibo and WeChat accounts, and in Spanish on our Twitter feed @gijnEs. Our staffs at SKUP and GIJN -- from Budapest, Hong Kong, Oslo, and Washington -- will be joined by the awesome Young Journalists from the International Anti-Corruption Conference and by a great group of journalism students from Norway's Volda University. And our colleagues from the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Delhi will be tweeting from @CijIndia.
With 850 of the world's best journalists and over 170 sessions, count on us to break some news. We'll see you online!