Women in the sub-field of French sports journalism: a double domination

The significant increase in the number of journalists observed during the last three decades reflects the expansion of this activity in France (Neveu, 2001). The number of women holding the press card is growing exponentially, from 11,744 in 1998 to 16,170 last year (CCIJP, 2008). If the number of women accounted for 38.49% of incumbents in 1998, they reached 43.35% in 2007. Despite this steady increase, it seems that disparities exist according to the sex of journalists. The works of Neveu (2000, 2001) show that this variable significantly influence the allocation of positions, topics and issues within the newsroom. Thus, female journalists are under-represented in positions of responsibility, but over-represented in precarious jobs. This author also notes that women are often reduced to cover less prestigious topics than their male counterparts. Although there are no topics in which women are totally excluded, those having a strong symbolic capital remain confined almost exclusively of men (e.g., policy, finance, religion). This exploratory study therefore aims to be interested, from a gendered viewpoint, in a speciality relatively little studied in France: the sports journalism.