Sport NZ and Isentia are conducting a major study of gender balance in sports media coverage and the journalists doing that reporting. The study involves human (rather than computer) analysis of 40,000 media stories a year – around one-third of all sports coverage in New Zealand.  

A separate part of the study is exploring gender balance in the social media content published by national sport organisations and regional sports trusts.  

Thstudy represents Commitment 23 of Sport NZ’s response to the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation. 

For more information about the study contact: 

Philip Clark 
Strategic Communications Manager, Sport NZ 

About the study

The Sport NZ-Isentia study is one of the largest of its kind globally. Its purpose is to: 

  • Gain a clear picture of gender balance/imbalance within sports media coverage and media reporting 
  • Be in position to recognise and celebrate progress, and fuel that progress into the future 
  • Add to the body of evidence based on which Sport NZ and others can advocate for greater visibility of women in sport in the media 

The study involves coding and analysis of 40,000 items a year for two years  starting in July 2019. The project was suspended from March to June 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 on sports leagues and events.  

The scope covers printbroadcast and internet media within New Zealand, including locally-published magazinesIt excludes match broadcasts and live blogs, together with community newspapers.  

Items are randomly selected daily and analysed by people across 100 different markers. These track the subject, sport and/or event and how the subject is portrayed through imagery, media commentary and the comments of third parties. It also tracks the gender of all those involved, including the journalist.  

Multiple researchers work on the project to ensure inter-coder reliability and consistency, and that they use a set of criteria to consistently analyse the way media frame each subject.


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