The Invisible Woman? A comparative study of women's sports coverage in the UK national press before and after the 2012 Olympic Games

Deirdre O'neill, Matt Mulready

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


While the coverage of women's sport in UK media rises to comparable levels to men's sports during large sporting events like the Olympics, academics agree that “routine” women's sports coverage is under-represented. According to the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, “81% of people think that the female athletes at London 2012 make better role models for young girls than other celebrities.” This article examines the representation of women in sport and compares routine coverage of women's sports in the UK national press across a week in February 2012, six months before the London Olympics, with coverage in a week in February 2013, six months after the Olympics, to see if there has been an Olympic “legacy” that increased coverage. It also examines coverage at the same time of year a decade earlier, to see how far, if at all, women's sports coverage in newspapers has progressed. The results suggest that there has been minimal change in everyday coverage of women's sports after the Olympics, and that female athletes continue to be hugely under-represented in the UK press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-668
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism Practice
Issue number5
Early online date21 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Cite this