A Commons select committee has told the media to “up its game” when it comes to covering women’s sports.
Increased recruitment of women reporters in sports journalism and PR would encourage girls to take part in sport more, a cross-party MPs’ report has concluded.
The culture, media and sports select committee’s inquiry into Women and Sport agreed with evidence, backed by a National Union of Journalists campaign, that the media had an important influence on the way women’s sports are perceived – with greater coverage leading to women’s sports being taken more seriously.
The report suggested areas for improvement centre on journalists and commentators refraining from “discussing the appearance of sportswomen and making derogatory comments about the ability of women in general to play sports.”
With the Commonwealth Games in full swing as a backdrop to the report’s publication, committee chairman John Whittingdale said: “Sport still has too male an image.
“As far as elite sportswomen are concerned, we must build on the very positive exposure given to them by the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. There is scope for greater, and better, media coverage and more commercial sponsorship,” added the MP.