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Women in Journalism and the Diversity Issue

by on November 13, 2014

Yesterday, our discussion with Karen really got me thinking about how women are still underrepresented. We still have to increase our numbers in many parts of journalism.

If you look “The Status of Women in the Media”  and Poynter’s article  about it, you will see that the statistics of women vs. men in the newsroom from 1999 to 2012 are almost the same. Newsrooms in 1999 were made up of 36.9% women and in 2012, were made up of 36.6% of women.

Looking at the numbers within in sports journalism, 90% of sports editors are male. It’s amazing that it’s 2014 and males are still over dominant in many areas, not just journalism.

As I mentioned in class, it also disturbs me that many people watching sports and sports broadcasts are more concerned with how the person looks than with what they are actually saying.

Bleacher Report’s “40 Hottest College Football Reporters” is just another example of how there is a notion that you are more likely to get a job if you’re appealing to the eye instead of how much you know.

This is not to say that one should not look nice and presentable if they choose to pursue broadcast journalism. That’s part of the business is “walking the walk” and quite frankly, if your face is going to be seen by millions of people, you want to look good.

However, what will it take for everyone to have full respect for women in the sports industry? How can we change these numbers and get women’s percentages up in the world of sports journalism and journalism as a whole?





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  1. I think in journalism or any job, the type of work ethic and knowledge that an individual has should be the main focus and the main factors in determining who gets the job. With this, comes influence and respect that everyone deserves if they are doing their best in their job and work. However, I think it is clear that women in the sports journalism industry have a harder time in receiving these things due to numerous of “reasons” such as gender, appearance and stereotypes.

    Why is there such a lack of females in the sports journalism world? Many women are just as interested and knowledgeable of sports than men. It’s because of the long history of the stereotype of sports being part of the “boys club” and part of their domain. Women in sports journalism are just underrepresented.

    I think in order for us to change this, we need to keep fighting for change in inequality. Surely if we made a change in inequality so far, we can continue and take it further. We need to continue to change the work and job atmosphere and have more diverse and ratio workrooms. We need to put an emphasize on diversity. Diversity is so important in the newsroom because having different and diverse ideas and opinions can influence the type of news we are producing and distributing. With this we are reaching more and more people and demographics and offering the world with more options and showing people more options. More women in sports journalism can provide a wider spectrum in sports.

  2. I think that part of the reason there are not women in sports journalism is that idea of being the odd one out that I talked about in class and how difficult that can be. There aren’t enough women in the field for it to be a comfortable place to work; a woman will always be noteworthy for the fact that she isn’t a man. There can also be a lot of sexism in journalism. There’s a story going around about Karl Stefanovic, an Australian morning show host who recently admitted that he wore the same blue short on air every day for a year. Absolutely no one called him out on it. That’s an entirely different experience from the treatment that women receive. Women’s appearances are picked over so much more than men’s appearances.

    However it’s not that women don’t want to work in sports journalism or don’t have an interest in the field. Clearly they do. What women need is for people to hire them. So much of the representation issue falls to hiring managers, who should be hiring the best candidate for the job but also need to consider how big or small their commitment to diversity is. In terms of respect, I think women just ned to be out there working in these jobs and being seen. Once that happens, hopefully people will have a change of heart and realize they can cover these things as seriously and with the same devotion as men.

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