Women in Sports Broadcasting: Challenges and Achievements

Women have fought with men in many aspects and fields since the earliest times. While there are number of significant successes where women have proven their abilities and worth in their respective domains, the undeniable reality of gender discrimination continues. In fact, prejudice against professional women never ceases to exit despite concrete manifestations of women’s achievements.The area of sports broadcasting is a concrete example where the battle between men and women is very evident but it is also where women have already shown their triumphs despite continuing hardships. Thus it is unfortunate to note that the primary objective of women in sports broadcasting, which is to carry on with their respective task, is still hampered with many obstacles.Hence, it is empirical that an increased awareness be made in order for the public to realize that a healthy competition between men in women in sports broadcasting should exists. Ultimately, regardless of the challenges which women in sports broadcasting face, they eventually emerge to be successful just like their male counterparts.

In fact, gone are the days when it is normal for sports broadcasting organizations and sports shows in particular to be composed of only the male population. This is proven with the emergence and continued influences of women sports broadcast journalists and professionals in various sports broadcast events and sports industries. While women in sports broadcasting are still outnumbered by the male population, efforts are being exerted to equalize the playing field.

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The entry of women into the world of sports broadcasting apparently only resulted from the action of male sports media practitioners to offer a limited portion to what they perceive as just a marginal population. Through the years, however, women journalists and professionals in sports broadcasting have slowly made their presence felt and even pose a threat against their counterparts. This was after they have proven that despite the challenges, they are capable to do what the men have performed and even surpass them in no time.Women in Sports Broadcasting, the ChallengesThe challenges facing women in sports broadcasting are acknowledged realities for the sector. This is because such tests have proven to eventually bring out the best in women broadcast journalists to keep up a good fight against their male colleagues and ultimately succeed in the business. In fact, even the very organization of these women broadcast journalists has attested to the fact its members are continued to be confronted with many industry challenges.According to the Association for Women in Sports Media or AWSM, challenges will continue to play a big part in the performance of their professions.

However, it is through the same trials that its members draw their strength and perseverance to do their jobs.Additionally, the association aims to show that challenges will not be detrimental to their broadcast journalism profession and that such incidents will enable them to achiever and even surpass the success achieved by men in sports broadcasting.In particular, AWSM President Jenni Carlson wrote in the organization’s newsletter that the challenges within the industry have resulted into women sports broadcast journalists and professionals to be removed from their respective employments. Carlson (2008) added that the profession has continued to be faced with hard times with their members particularly the seniors and experts losing their occupations (Carlson, 2008).The AWSM President attributed this current challenge with the helplessness of veteran women in sports broadcasting field to adapt with the required extended and advance proficiencies and also to cope up with the development of the profession (Carlson, 2008).Aside from the challenges experienced by senior women in sports broadcasting, Carlson also stated that even their new members were not spared from feeling the hardships of being into this line of work. She revealed that new AWSM members are already besieged to search for internship opportunities which will pave the way for their professional growth as well as develop their experience and the network they are working for or represent (Carlson, 2008).Simply put, both the veteran and new women on sports broadcasting are susceptible to industry challenges.

In fact, these struggles made it appear for the profession not to be totally welcoming and responsive to the emergence of women journalists. This is because the main challenge of gender discrimination has yet to be settled today and yet these women professionals are already experiencing additional struggles while exercising their jobs and in their objectives to succeed in the field.A number of views have been declared unfair as regard the challenges facing women in sports broadcasting. A specific challenge is the fact wherein a very limited women population eventually ends up having a notable sports position such as being an athletic director (Kennedy, 2006).The struggle was attributed to the reality that men in sports broadcasting are able to carry on with the job in a better and more effective manner. Additionally, not many women broadcast journalists and professionals are interested or keen to be involved in this kind of highly stress-related position (Kennedy, 2006).Since sports broadcasting is regarded as “the dream job” because of the opportunities to meet famous sports personalities, women professionals tend to struggle to work long hours and meet the demands of such highly hectic task.

Hence, if women broadcast journalists are not broadcasting or working on other task assigned by the network, chances are they are still researching and finding ways to improve their craft. In fact, they have to regularly carry on with their job while at the same time still learn their profession. This is because of the rigid rivalry between them and their male counterparts and the requirements of their profession (Kennedy, 2006).Above all the mentioned struggles, gender problem still hurts the industry.

Particular incident of gender discrimination is evidently exemplified within the industry with male broadcaster directly showing prejudice against female broadcaster. In fact, the statement that while women should not be restricted in the kitchen but they do not definitely fit in the dugout is a direct attack or discredit not only on a particular person but the female population in general (Kennedy, 2006). While the problem has notably improved over the last years, women in sports broadcasting should still continue to guard their right and dignity against any kind of gender-related discriminations which their male counterparts are still capable to do (Kennedy, 2006).The issue or problem on the challenges facing women is also attributed to what statistics are showing. This is because the apparent big gap between the ratio of male broadcasters as compared with female broadcaster results into opportunities likely to favor the majority and sadly, prejudice tends to harm more the minority.

Citing Dodds, Slagle wrote that women in sports broadcasting meet the test of desiring to be received in a profession which does not tend to get the services of women (Slagle, 2007).Once into the profession, women broadcast journalists are subjected to persecution and isolation. Also, a cold treatment from the male broadcasters follows when women opt to continue with their broadcast profession. However, the industry does not realize that in barring women, the field of sports broadcasting looses the chance to have the services of brilliant and knowledgeable women sports broadcasters (Slagle, 2007).Women in Sports Broadcasting, the AchievementDespite the real accounts of industry challenges and their harmful implications into the careers of women in sports broadcasting, there are specific stories that prove that indeed these women can succeed like men and even surpass their achievements. Such condition hold true to the story of Nancy Lee, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) first woman head of sports.

Zelkovich wrote that Lee resolved on promoting the profile of women in sports broadcasting and female athletes as well. As CBC’s sports head, Lee is a total picture of success in a “league of her own” (Zelkovich, 2000).Zelkovich added that even if Lee is young in the profession, she was able to prove herself and went her way into achieving a position and eventually make the public realize that women definitely has a room and chance to succeed in the industry. In fact, the professional story of Lee has proven that women can compete, beat the challenges and even show men that they have the strength of character even in making difficult decision of removing one of the network’s male personalities from his position (Zelkovich, 2000).

The professional triumph by Lee is only one of the many proofs which confirm the existing challenges facing her colleagues as well as the opportunity for a woman to succeed in a man’s world.ConclusionSports Broadcasting is one field in today’s modern world which offers both struggles and opportunities for women broadcast journalists and professionals to experience. These challenges are attributed to the fact that this profession was once only dominated by the male population. Hence, the entry of women into the field poses a threat and apparent insecurity among male professionals.

Nonetheless, what could be done instead is for both men and women to work together in order to advance the interests of the sports broadcasting field and also with what it can offer more to the development of sports enthusiasts and the media industry in general. In doing so, this is will results into benefit rather than damage within the industry as well as among sports broadcasters in general.



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