In April 2016, a group of high-profile sports journalists signed a petition demanding an investigation into the future of sports publishing in Australia.
The group’s main argument was that Australia had “lost its moral compass” in relation to sports journalism, and they wanted the industry to be better.
And, in an attempt to prove the point, they went to court.
In the case, which was heard in Sydney federal court, two of the signatories – David Adams and Simon Jones – argued that the industry was “the biggest employer in the Australian sports industry”.
In an effort to prove that the sportswriting industry was a “major employer”, the signatory asked the court to determine whether the industry’s “main purpose is to generate advertising revenues and/or to sell products to advertisers”.
But that wasn’t the only argument they raised, and the court ultimately agreed to hear them on the merits.
Here are five of the most pressing issues that the court heard on the case.
How big is the sports media industry?
Sports journalism has long been the biggest employer of any of Australia’s major industries, according to the National Association of Broadcasters and Entertainment (NABEE).
In 2017, the total number of people working in sportswriter, editor and writer positions was about 8% higher than the national average, according the NABEE.
Is there an impact on sports media?
Sports journalist employment in Australia has increased steadily since the mid-1980s, with employment rates for those in positions with direct editorial responsibilities jumping from 2.5% in 1984 to more than 10% in 2017.
In 2017-18, the number of sports journalist positions in Australia was about 6% higher, with the majority of those jobs being held by people working at the national level.
How much do sportswritten journalists earn?
A Sports Writer at the National Sports Publishing Association (NSPA) is paid $50,000, while an Editor at the Sports Writer’s Association (SWA) earns about $40,000 a year.
These are only the minimum wage rates.
But the NSPA’s chief executive, Andrew Collins, said that those rates were based on the “perceived” earnings of their “subscribers”.
And if the rate of pay for a Sports Writer or Editor was more than $100,000 in a given year, the organisation would be forced to look at a “significant reduction” in its funding.
The National Sportswriters’ Association, which represents sports writers, is paid by the union representing sports editors, which has also said it wants to see more pay cuts.
Are sports writers compensated?
Sports writers earn an average of about $12,000 per year.
But they are also paid $20,000 more per annum than the industry average.
A Sports Reporter at the Australian Sports Publishing Industry Association (ASPAI) earns $42,000.
However, that figure includes overtime, including overtime hours.
Do sports writers have to be published on the same publication as their employer?
Yes, they do.
However if the publication is owned by an agency, the editor can choose to publish a Sports Reporter or Editor on a different publication.
For example, an editor might publish a sports reporter on an independent website, which is funded by the publication.
Are Sports Writers and Editors paid by their respective employers?
Sports journalists are not paid by publishers.
Instead, they receive a percentage of the revenue generated from advertising sales for the publication, which are usually made up of a percentage or a fixed fee based on whether the advertiser chooses to use the Sports Reporter’s or Editor’s name.
In 2016-17, Sports Reporter and Editor received $2.9 million from the Australian Sportswriter Association, while Sports Writer received $1.7 million.
Are there benefits to the industry?
It’s not clear how many sports journalists are paid for their work, but a 2017 survey conducted by the Australian Press Council found that 92% of sports journalists surveyed had been paid at least some form of “subsidiary” salary.
Are the benefits of sports journalism shared equally?
The main benefits of the sport writing industry are that it’s a “lifestyle” industry, which means that sports journalists can enjoy “an enviable standard of living and social mobility”, the study said.
There is also a “high level of professional loyalty”, according to AFRICOM, and “a culture of professional integrity”.
Do athletes need to be Sports Writers?
Sports Writing is not a job that requires athletic ability.
Athletes are not required to be athletes, as the profession is not specifically associated with athletic performance.
Athletic performance is generally recognised as an important part of sportsmanship, but the work of a SportsWriter or Editor does not necessarily have to have the characteristics