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Monday, November 28th
by The Fix Team

The rise of women’s sports coverage

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from Mediazona, The Kyiv Independent, Mash Media, WARC and many others!

Today many of the eyeballs in Europe and across the world are drawn to the World Cup in Qatar, which is a men’s football competition. While men’s sports continue to dominate headlines and financial deals, the heartening news is that women’s sports is on the rise. 

The 2023 Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand, is expected to draw record attention. In Britain, viewership for women's sports programming was 50% higher early this year as compared to the similar period in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.

More broadly, as The Economist noted earlier this year, “interest [in women’s sports] from sponsors, broadcasters and startups is growing” as “some advertisers and sponsors think that women’s sports offer better returns than the expensive, over-subscribed male version.”

As Axios reported last week, The Athletic, one of the biggest American sports news outlets, will double women’s sports coverage. The plan will be powered by a multiyear partnership with Google, with an initial focus on basketball and football; golf, tennis and hockey might be in the pipeline for the future.

The Athletic is owned by The New York Times Company, and attracting more female readers thanks to the company’s resources is an attractive opportunity for the outlet. However, according to Nielsen data cited by The Economist, it’s not only about female audiences – “audiences for women’s football are split almost 50/50 between men and women”.

While the gap is still wide, women’s sports coverage is looking to become an increasingly lucrative opportunity for some publishers in the coming years.
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What we are following 
Manchester Mill, a Substack-based newsletter focusing on the city of Manchester, has 27,000 subscribers, including 1,600 paid ones – the number that has allowed it to reach profitability. PresGazette charted how the outlet became “one of the few successful examples of paywall-funded local journalism in the UK”. (Earlier this year, The Fix looked at a Romanian Substack-powered local news publication Iașul Nostru, which has not yet reached profitability.)

Most news media organisations suffer from economic recessions — less money is spent on advertising, readers are less willing to pay for a subscription. Harvard Business Review is an exception. The 100-year-old American publisher has around 116,000 digital subscribers – and “tend[s] to do well, as a business, during economic downturn”, Adweek writes, as entrepreneurs are looking for guidance in uncertain times.

Major news publishers can hardly cover the 2022 World Cup as just a sporting event; the host country of Qatar has become a source of stories about human and labor rights, as well as LGBTQ discrimination. Vanity Fair looks at the moral dilemmas in covering one of the world's biggest sporting events this year.

Industry news
Ukrainian news outlets are returning to the newly liberated territories in the south of the country. Kherson, the only regional capital occupied by Russia earlier this year, was liberated by the Ukrainian army two weeks ago. While retreating, the Russians destroyed communications infrastructure, including the Kherson TV Tower. However, Ukraine is working to restore access to news. Last week, Ukraine’s public broadcaster Suspiline resumed radio signal in the city. TV signal restoration began shortly after Kherson’s liberation. The first issue of print newspaper Novyi Den’ (The New Day) was delivered to the city with the first restored train ride from Kyiv to Kherson earlier in November, the government reported.
The Associated Press fired its national security reporter who provided information about a missile strike in Poland earlier in November claiming that Russia was behind the attack, citing a senior U.S. intelligence official – a report that wasn’t confirmed later. As The Washington Post reports, “the initial AP alert, sent to thousands of news outlets around the world, suggested a dire new escalation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” as Poland is a NATO member, and thus a Russian attack on its territory might have caused a much wider military conflict. (At the same time, internal Slack messages obtained by Semafor suggest the incident wasn’t the fault of one reporter, but rather caused by broader miscommunication).
Opportunities and deadlines

New Horizons in Journalism Conference. The World Press Institute (WPI) invites you to attend a conference on disinformation, propaganda, and the future of journalism among other topics. The event will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, and streamed online via YouTube.
More info:
When: December 1

Hostwriter Collaborative Journalism Contest. Hostwriter platform will award cash prizes for works of collaborative journalism. The team must consist at least of two journalists. The award is €1,000.
More info:
Deadline: November 30

The European Press Prize. The European Press Prize Award accepts entries from journalists for 2023. Journalists from all 46 countries of Europe writing for a European media or blog are eligible to enter.
More info:
Deadline: December 9

Job Openings

Call for Mentors. A group of partnering Moldovan and international organisations is seeking mentors to provide capacity-building and mentoring services for media outlets in Moldova. Relevant experience and command of Russian and/or Romanian are among the requirements. Mentors will need to operate in Moldova.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled

Programmatic Sales Executive. Euronews is hiring for a new sales role within the programmatic team. Main responsibilities include building and developing existing relationships with programmatic buyers in the UK and Europe. The position is based in London. 
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled

Senior Business Associate, Europe & Eurasia. Internews is looking for a Senior Business Associate. You will serve as a key member of the Europe and Eurasia Department, providing business and administrative support. This position can be remote or based in London, Washington DC, or Vilnius. 
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
News Partner Manager, News and Publisher Partnerships. Google News Partnership is looking for a News Partner Manager. You will be responsible for the strategy for Central and Eastern Europe. Your workplace can be based in Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, or Bucharest. 
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
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