A new study has revealed the level media coverage given to women’s sport continues to trail that dedicate to men.

The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation has unveiled its Representation of Women in Sports News Coverage 2022-2023 report.

The report analysed more than 34,600 individual pieces of media and showed the coverage of women’s sport in Australia is well below that of their male counterparts.

The data shows just 15% of all sports stories in Victoria focused on women’s sport compared to the 81% that focused on men’s.

Former Women’s Premier League Player and Illawarra United Stingrays coach Sian McLaren said the media must lay the foundation for any meaningful change to occur.

“If you just look at the Women’s World Cup and the opportunity that was given in terms of media coverage for women’s sport, it’s obvious that it has to start within the media for the women to get the coverage that they deserve,” Ms McLaren said. 

“Being on home soil, they advertised it, and they sold out stadiums consecutively for a whole month, and now the Matildas they sell out stadiums every game they play, and that has happened in the last five years, but the Matildas have always been around, so if you think about it, what’s different?

“It’s obviously about putting it out there. It’s about advertising the game, putting it on the TV on the channels that people are going to watch and covering it in news articles.

“Everything that they did leading into the World Cup made everyone in this country know who the Matildas are and now they are like our favourite sporting team.”

The data highlighted sports coverage is heavily influenced by seasonal sporting events, competitions, and leagues, with the proportion of coverage, focused on women, peaked in November 2022. This was when key women’s leagues were underway, and in a window where less men’s sports was played.

Despite these figures showing an improvement from previous years, the study has laid bare an unsettling truth.

Women’s representation in sports media remains a whisper amidst the cacophony of men’s coverage.