Friday, April 1, 2016

Where do you go for news of women's sport?

Mary Kom womens boxing India
Mary Kom 5-time World Champion, Olympic Bronze medallist
I had an interview post prepared for today, but there is so much going on in terms of pay that I think for once it's time to vent some frustration. 

First it was tennis taking a turn on the discrimation plinth, then this week the American football (soccer to some of you!) team say they're going to court for fair wages. A review of a book on women in sport I read yesterday said the book looks at how online stats are showing stories on women's sports are not read on newspaper sites as much as campaigners would like. 

I haven't read this book yet, but according to the review Sarah Shepherd's book 'Kicking Off' : 

"... discusses the thorny chicken-and-egg question of media coverage with some heavy hitters, like the Mail on Sunday’s Alison Kervin, the first female sports editor in Fleet Street.

"Several point out that the ability to accurately measure media traffic nowadays offers some indigestible facts for campaigners for change." 

Sounds like that particular chapter is going to be a bit indigestible for fans of women's sport! I was thinking about why this might be so. 

Based on the way I learn about women's sport, it could well be that women just don't bother even trying mainstream media for news anymore. I would go to Twitter to see what's happening in most things, the only one I would check on a newspaper website is the GAA sports - camogie or football. 

Sheila Champion, Ireland, 75, women's javelin 75–79 year old age group, European Masters Games, Lignano, Italy, 2011. ©Alex Rotas

Scratching around in my head trying to think of the last time I learned something about women's fighting for example from an actual media site. It's mostly blogs, Twitter and Facebook - because that's where women in sport hang out. 

In Ireland at least there have been some positive changes in the last 12 months, including a weekly women in sport spread in the Irish Times. 

Maybe I'm trying too hard to find a reason, but I think there's more to this than meets the eye. 

Where do you go for news of women's sport?

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