Page 34

COMMENT

THE MEDIA HAVE TO PLAY THEIR PART Sport & Recreation UK’s CEO, Emma Boggis, comments here about women’s sport. And about the media’s role.

BY EMMA BOGGIS, CEO SPORT & RECREATION UK What role can and should the media play in women’s sport? If you start from a - probably unrealistic premise that the media cover the events of  the day in an unbiased manner and then look at the media coverage of women’s sport you might logically conclude women were in a significant minority. Actually this approach would lead you to conclude that women were in fact just 7 per cent of the population because evidence from ‘Women in Sport’ shows that men’s sport coverage (93 per cent)  still  accounts for the vast  majority of sports coverage across all media outlets. But of course women aren’t in a minority at all in this country - though their levels of participation remain significantly and stub-

34

SPORT EXECUTIVE

bornly below that of men. So the question is are these two things - low levels of media coverage and low female participation - related? To some sense this is a chicken and egg  question - in order to  generate the  media coverage you need the participation and to some extent the success of Great Britain athletes and teams. But we also know the media plays a huge role in  galvanizing and promoting interest.  Take the example of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The BBC had the TV rights from the Olympics and it is probably fair to say many people thought that the coverage Channel 4 would give  to the Paralympics wouldn’t be as extensive or impressive. But as soon as they released the “Meet the

Super humans” trailer and rather cheekily said of the Olympics,  well that was the warmup now for the main event, everything changed. As a nation we became fascinated in the classification system and we became fans of “the Last Leg” which brought an irreverence and humour to a subject many of us were nervous and scared of for fear of causing offense. So my point is that sometimes the media does have to lead the way and in doing so generates something which excites and interests us. THINGS ARE CHANGING Sponsorship and media engagement are often of course linked. Coming back to women’s sport there has been a history of

Sport Executive August 15  

Sport Executive er et gratis magasin på nettet om sport. Sport er den hurtigst voksende branche i dette årtusinde – såvel i Danmark som worl...

Sport Executive August 15  

Sport Executive er et gratis magasin på nettet om sport. Sport er den hurtigst voksende branche i dette årtusinde – såvel i Danmark som worl...

Advertisement