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Report reveals stark gender divide in sports media coverage 

 

In Scotland there remains a huge gap in how men and women athletes are covered. 

A new report has warned of a significant gender gap in how men and women athletes are covered in Scottish sports media. 

The Equal Media and Culture Centre (EMCC) report, titled "The Gendered Coverage of Scottish Sport," analysed over 7,000 articles about Scottish football, rugby and golf published across major Scottish newspapers over a 12-month period. 

It found that coverage of men’s participation in these sports received nearly 96% of overall coverage, while stories about women made up just 4% of articles. 

"The data clearly shows that our sports media is falling short when it comes to gender representation," said Dr Miranda Barty-Taylor, Project Manager, EMCC. 

"Despite the amazing achievements of Scotland's women athletes, they are simply not receiving an equal level of coverage." 

Some of the key findings from the report include that there was 28 times as much coverage of men’s football as women’s football in Scotland over the year. 

There was also over 26 times as much coverage of men’s rugby as women’s rugby in Scotland. 

Phrases used about sportswomen were disappointingly outdated, including “strutting her stuff”. 

The report concludes that Scottish sports media has a long way to go to achieve gender parity in coverage. 

It calls on media outlets to make tangible commitments to improving women's sports reporting, highlighting the impact this can have on women and girls’ participation in Scottish sports, as well as gender equality in Scottish culture more generally. 

Its recommendations include dedicating resources to encourage more women into sports journalism in Scotland, signposting to guidelines about the language, commentary and images used in reporting on women’s sports, and attracting more women into leadership positions in Scottish sporting bodies. 

"Media visibility has a direct impact on funding, participation and advancement for women's sports," added Dr Miranda Barty-Taylor. 

“We urge Scottish media to start monitoring the gender-balance of their sports coverage and work with sports bodies to normalise writing about women’s incredible sporting achievements in Scotland.”

 

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