‘ODT’ top for women’s sports coverage

The Otago Daily Times remains the leading media outlet in the country for gender balance in sports reporting.

Sport New Zealand and Isentia released their first report into gender balance in sports reporting in Aotearoa in May and the ODT came out on top.

Women’s sport accounted for 19.5% of the newspaper’s sports coverage during the study period from July 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020.

The second report will be released in May 2022 but mid-year figures released yesterday show the ODT has increased its coverage to 20.3%.

While that is a long way short of parity, it is higher than the national average of 17%, which is up from 15% from the last report.

Women’s cricket has been the big winner during the period. It has increased its share of cricket coverage nationally from a woeful 9% to 15.2%

Sport New Zealand chief executive Raelene Castle was pleased to see some gains.

“It’s great to see some positive change in an area of longstanding under-representation of women," she said.

"The results for cricket are particularly good to see as we lead into summer and next year’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.”

“Gender balance, however, remains a long way off. We should recognise progress but must also keep working towards equal representation of coverage and in newsrooms.

"Many media companies have work under way to build on these latest results, but it’s vital this continues so New Zealand can make the most of hosting three women’s world cups.

"We have a huge opportunity to create lasting change in the gender balance of sports media in New Zealand.”

Similar studies conducted overseas showed New Zealand was leading the world in gender balance of sports coverage.

Otago Daily Times sports editor Hayden Meikle was pleased to see the newspaper’s efforts recognised.

“And it’s not just outstanding individual women like Erika Fairweather and Courtney Duncan who feature in our pages,” Meikle said.

“We have long provided committed coverage of things like women’s cricket and women’s football that are ignored by other outlets.

“That said, we’d like to do more, and would also like to see sports organisations and fans provide more opportunities and support for women’s sport."

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