Women in Sports Media

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Women in Sports Media
Dec 8, 2014

By Kofie Yeboah

A crowd of around 120 people packed the Newseum on Saturday Dec. 7 to attend an event meant to discuss the state of women in sports media.

Co-moderated by Christine Brennan and George Solomon, the esteemed panel featured Mary Byrne: Managing Editor USA TODAY Sports Marcia Keegan: Vice-President for Production, ESPN, Andrea Kremer: Reporter, HBO “Real Sports,” NFL Network, Monica McNutt: Reporter, News Channel 8, Rachel Nichols, Sports Journalist, CNN, Turner Sports and Lesley Visser, Sports Journalist, CBS Sports, ESPN, ABC.

The panel’s first topic of discussion was about the positive progression of women’s rights insports media. Brennan, Kremer and Visser who have been in the business for decades, led the discussion on what it was like when they first started to cover sports.

“For Lesley, Christine and I when we were your age, we did not exist. “ said Kremer. “Think about that for a second. When we were you’re age students out there trying to think about what we wanted to do with our lives. The idea of being a female journalist, not even a sports journalist, did not exist.That’s how far we’ve come.”

Also discussed were the double standards that affect women in the media. The panel cited examples about being put under the microscope more and being criticized for covering sports they’ve never played while many male greats like Marv Albert and Al Michaels have.

While many on the panel have reached prominence, the issue was raised about the lack of women in the sports media industry. According to the 2012 Associated Press Sports Editors Racial and Gender Report Card. Women made up 14.6% of total staffs, 9.6% of sports editors, 17.2% of assistant sports editors and 11.7% of columnists and 19.6% of copy editors. All those categories earned resounding F’s for lack of diversity.

Even though the stats indicate that the amount of women in sports media is nowhere close to the overall goal, journalists like Monica McNutt, a former basketball player for the Georgetown Hoyas, are thankful about the paths that earlier women journalists have paved for her.

“I am thrilled about the possibilities in my future in journalism because of all of these women up here.  Said McNutt. When I look out now sure do we have a long way to go now absolutely.”

The panel then opened up for questions from the audience. It was then that the audience was able to streamline their advice to certain members of the audience. The panel was able to deliver uplifting and encouraging words to young aspiring female journalists in the crowd.

The event was a celebration of the progress made in the sports media industry, but also a reminder that the yearning for perpetual progress is far form over.

We’ve come a long way, both in front of the camera and behind the camera” said Marcia Keegan “but we have a long way to go”

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