Gender in the Sports TV Programmes in the Spotlight of the AAAVMS’ First Public Meeting in 2022

Skopje, 28 March 2022 – Today, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services held its first public meeting for this year, at which Agency Director Zoran Trajchevski presented an overview of the activities the Agency had carried out in the past three months, in line with its Annual Work Programme.

Those attending had an opportunity to hear about the activities relating to the supervisions conducted over the broadcasters, operators of public electronic communication networks, print media publishers, the imposed public warning measures, the conducted surveys, and activities in the field of international cooperation.

Also presented at the meeting were the findings of the Analysis titled “Gender in the Media in 2021: Gender Issues and the Manner of Depicting Women and Men in the Sports Programmes of the National Terrestrial Television Channels,” which is the first ever to provide both a quantitative and a qualitative insight into the extent to which and the way in which national television channels reported on the female athletes and women’s sports, as opposed to male athletes and men’s sports.

The analysis, which the RESIS Institute had prepared for the Agency’s needs, showed that the coverage of sports and sports events and the broadcasting of sports competitions occupied a significant place in the overall programme scheme of the Public Broadcasting Service. The public broadcaster strives to pursue a well-thought-through and consistent editorial policy regarding sports, i.e. it provides a genre variety and obviously a great diversity in the sports it covers and to which it dedicates considerable airtime. Prevailing in the programmes of the three analyzed channels – MRT 1, MRT 2 and MRT 3 – are male team sports competitions. There is a prevailing presence of men among the reporters as opposed to the marginal participation of female reporters, as well as predominance of male sports workers, i.e. sports experts.

 The private television channels Alfa TV, Sitel TV, Kanal 5 TV, Telma TV and Alsat-M TV had dedicated significantly less time to sports than the Public Broadcasting Service. This was totally expected, given the fact that, due to the already purchased broadcasting rights, the private television stations did not air broadcasts of the Summer Olympic Games. Nevertheless, there were visible differences among the five private television stations in terms of the way they covered the sports events and the attention they paid to sports. Male sports domination was noted in their regular sports news programmes, considering both individual and team sports. Female sports experts were almost completely absent from the regular programmes of the private television channels, while the TV newsrooms sought the views and analyses of the sports events mostly from male sports workers.