Women in Sports Journalism

Insightful handout from today’s Associated Press Sports Editors conference panel, “Women in Sports Journalism,” with panelists Candace Buckner (The Washington Post), Diana Nearhos (Knoxville News Sentinel), Lisa Olson (The Athletic), and Sarah Spain (ESPN). It led to a fruitful discussion, so I thought I’d share it: 1. DO: Encourage women staffers to be their true selves. DON’T: Insist that women staffers adapt to the existing culture. 2. DO: Involve women staffers in hiring decisions. Ask for their input. Access their networks. DON’T: Make the halfhearted, obligatory call to [Association for Women in Sports Media], then complain about the lack of qualified women applicants. 3. DO: Talk upfront with women staffers about the potential for sexual harassment while doing their job, whether from athletes, coaches, co-workers, competitors or Internet trolls and have a plan in place to address such behavior. DON’T: Wait until an incident occurs, then do your best to resolve it before it reaches human resources. 4. DO: Promote women staffers on merit, considering them on an equal basis to men for every position. DON’T: Act on the assumptions that women have greater empathy and must be experts on women sports by keeping them away from the high-profile men’s sports and beat reporting. 5. DO: Listen to their story ideas and encourage them to offer suggestions for new ways to reach the sports fan. DON’T: Maintain tight control of the content choices since you know best what appeals to your audience.

6 views