The International Sports Press Survey 2005


New Results from the ‘International Sports Press Survey 2005

Now you can do your own analysis of the world’s most comprehensive data so far on the international sports press. On this theme page, we publish the full data sheet and bring brand new analysis of the International Sport Press Survey 2005 that included 10,000 articles from the sports pages in 37 newspapers in 10 countries.

The survey’s results proves the fact that sport journalism is a self-perpetuating male universe with hardly any room for female athletes, female sources and female journalists. Only 5 percent of the stories have a female journalist behind the pen!

And the sport journalism is highly concentrated on few sources, contrary to tradition of journalistic professional standards which would require more sources and views in a story. 40 percent of all sports articles refer to only one source. 20 percent to no sources at all!

There is hardly any focus on the social aspects of sport in sport pages in the Western world. The sport press shows its interest in the cultural and many sided social aspects of sport in only 4,25 % of the articles.

Here we dig deeper into some of the results from the International Sport Press Survey publiced by Play the Game, the Danish Institute for Sports Studies, and the House of Monday Morning at the end of 2005.

The survey was made by 14 research units in 10 countries and was in 2005 summarised in a critical journalistic article written by Monday Morning editor, Søren Schultz Jørgensen : "The World’s Best Advertising Agency: The Sports Press." You can find the full article in the Document File below.




The World's Best Advertising Agency: The Sports Press
Read the journalistic summary of the survey

Industry or independence? Results from a survey of the Scandinavian sports press
A survey from 2002 on sports journalism in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, shows that Scandinavian newspapers' sport coverage is uncritical and one-sided.

Challenging the News Ideals
Knut Helland speaks at Play the Game 2005 about publicist ideals, the journalistic institution and its social role and legitimacy in the context of a globalised and commercialised world of sport. See slides from the speech here.



An American study from 2005 on sports journalism




(03 May 2007)
An Unequal Match: Dominance of Male Journalists Favours Male Athletes

Female journalists focus a lot more on female athletes than their male colleagues do. Further more the majority of sports journalists are men.


(03 May 2007)
Lack of Sources in Sports Journalism – also in Background Articles

The analysis of the Sports Press Survey reveals a lack in the sports journalists’ use of sources. The survey also shows big national differences in the use of sources.


(03 May 2007)
Lack of Social Aspects in Sport Journalism

Sports journalists do not pay attention to the social aspects of sport. Consumer interests and the business shapes the journalists’ focus on elite sport and huge sports events.


/upload/sports_press_survey/handcuffed to money001.jpg 

" The sports press is in the same boat as the money interests
in the sports industry"
-Dr. Thomas Horky, Researcher at Hamburger Institute for Sports Journalists.




Full analysis

Data (.xml)

National Variations

Data (.xml)

Gender of Athletes in Focus - Male vs. Female Journalists

Chart (JPG)

Gender of Athletes in Focus by country

Chart (JPG)

Social Aspects - Data + Table 

Data + Chart (.xml)

Use of Sources by article type

Chart (JPG)

Use of Sources by country

Chart (JPG)

Use of Sources by sport

Chart (JPG)