Frustrated and Ignored: An Analysis of the Female Audience of Sports Journalism in New Zealand
Mitchell, Tayla Rhiana
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Sport is widely constructed as a male’s domain, whether you are an athlete or a spectator. Indeed, research tells us that women’s sport and female athletes are often trivialised and sexualised in the measly amount of media coverage they do receive. Female fans are also reluctant to label themselves as fans, which could be attributed to the hegemonic sporting culture men have created which women are excluded from. Despite this, there are women who consume sport and mediasport, and those were the women who were targeted for this research, in order to find out what they think and how they feel about mediasport in New Zealand and to find out a bit more about their experiences with it. This research employed a survey methodology to reach the female audience of mediasport all around New Zealand. They were asked about how much journalism they consume, how much women’s sport journalism they consume, how the male dominance of sports journalism affects their consumption, whether they see differences in presenting and writing by male and female journalists and whether or not they think mediasport has improved or deteriorated in regards to gender equality. By the completion of the survey, which was live for five months, 72 respondents had completed the survey. Their responses were organised, analysed and discussed in the findings of this research. Overall, there is dissatisfaction and frustration amongst the female audience of mediasport where a majority of respondents said that they would like mainstream media to improve the quality and quantity of their reporting of women’s sport and that the male dominance of the industry is turning them off it.