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Women Sport Journalists: A global Assessment

Key points by Ioanna Georgia Eskiadi 

Women in sports change gender stereotypes and social norms, make inspiring role models for other women, and promote equality between all genders. Though a lot of innovations and dynamics have been achieved, there are still challenges concerning the practical side of equality and differences between men and women in sports, both financial and cultural. Women journalists have followed a similar professional trajectory entering a man dominated field. Women journalists from different parts of the world experience difficulties when practicing their work as they are victims of discrimination and harassment. But positive changes have occurred, for example women now occupy leadership positions in newsrooms.

The field of women in sports journalism is quite new, since this job is practiced only by a few women and a lot of times they are the only one woman in the newsroom or in the field. But women should embrace it. One of the biggest problems is that women in society are being excluded from sports since it´s considered a man dominated world, where only men can play and report on sports. Family plays an important role in empowering girls to play and participate in sports. Also, women need to feel determined and motivate themselves to carry out their dreams through their work. Sexist comments are made too often in this field and women have to deal with them and be strong, since we shouldn´t let any comment or several comments or tweets disturb our lives. In the last few years, women have started to occupy more positions in sports journalism and are taking on leadership roles around the world.

“A woman can do everything that she wants”

In Kenya, and generally in Africa, it’s difficult to be a female sports journalist. Only a few female journalists exist in the continent but it’s a growing career. Women are willing to thrive and do their best but it is still a struggle since many people still think that sports are a man’s world. Women sports journalists have problems when doing their duties since they have to get permission from men when going on the field. Practicing sports journalism is still a big challenge but it’s an eye-opening experience that impacts lives. One of the most male-dominated sports is football, and female reporters and journalists need to work harder and do more. Among the problems that there are very few women presenters in sports journalism and that women are suppressed and most of the times can’t express their emotions. 

“Sports journalism is a male dominated industry

that doesn’t let you express your emotions”

Progress has been made for women’s presence in the sports journalism world. There are more women sports editors than ever before. We need to have more women and women of color running these organizations, so that we can stop the discrimination. We need diversity and inclusion. Within sports journalism it is very rare to see a woman being a chief editor. Women occupying leadership positions is really important. We don’t see many women working on sports or doing sports. Another problem is that women are not often shown playing sports on TV and in general on media. When women are portrayed on media they are highlighted through their beauty and not through their abilities and their capacity. It’s important to break barriers and be sure that the woman who breaks the barriers is not the last. It’s a challenge on daily basis for women practicing sports journalism. We need adequate presentation of women. 

“Raise the voice of women in sports”

Christine Brennan |USA Today Columnist, CNN and ABC News Commentator | U.S.
Edleen Ismail | TV Host and Journalist, Astro Arena | Malaysia
Rotuno Kwonyike | Sports Journalist, The Standard Group | Kenya
Renata Mendonca | Sports Columnist, Folha de Sao Paulo, Commentator Grupo Globo | Brazil
Aziza Nait Sibaha | TV Host and Executive Editor, France24, Publishing Director, Taja Magazine | France