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How can we improve diversity in sports journalism? by Mind Map: How can we improve diversity in
sports journalism?
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How can we improve diversity in sports journalism?

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diversity work in newsrooms

Suggestion by Mike Philip Smith (NUJ, Wales) - made on the MARS conference in Birmingham, 6h - 8th June 2012

appoint "diversity officers" (instead of "equality officers")

Suggested by Mike Philip Smith (NUJ, Wales)

employers should allow time for diversity work

organisations have to acknowledge and cope with their past before working on their present and future

Suggestion by Johannes Hofer (Ballesterer FM).He used the example of National Socialism and Austrian football

media organisations should make explicit statements of diversity

Suggestion by John Amaechi. (Ex-NBA player)

Good examples: that community and independent media are doing much to attempt combat racism.

Statement by Stefan Tenner (CMFE) and Johannes Hofer (Ballesterer FM)

Regular awareness raising activities are needed; not just project-based

go into the newsroom and find some ways to engage the editors/journalists in observation of the news production process

To keep insisting more to have great stories to tell; there are lots of interesting stories in sport; we can enlarge our point of view and diversity of stories that we are telling.

more diversity within the personnel and in the offices where the decisions are made

Codes of ethics shouldn’t be the main goal - journallists need to propose and write more articles about diversity issues to serve as an example

media training

especially organisations underrepresented in the media

Suggestion by Diane Kemp (BCU lecturer, International Broadcast Journalism) and Sharon Wheeler (Portsmouth University)

cooperation with universities to train youngsters in diversity

Suggestion by Stephane Bijoux (France Television)

funding for journalists to spend time in classrooms with pupils as media educators

Suggestion by Patrick Verniers (Media Animation asbi)

Encourage journalists to train themselves on diversity reporting; to become skillful in initiation of a dialogue; to find common language and understanding; raising awareness of very sensitive issues;

duties of organisations and initiatives

Suggestion by Sharon Wheeler (University of Portsmouth)

more complaints

ask to regularly publish results and coverage of female / Paralympic sports and if the media already do so send compliments to keep it alive

good and authentic public relations work of the club - so that they influence the way their athletes (also female and disabled) come across positively

Example: RSV Lahn-Dill, article on

find attractive angles to topics and direct them to the media


Suggestion by Craig Bankhead (Show Racism the Red Card). He gave the example of a Newcastle fan who shouted racist abuse, but was given the opportunity to examine why he had done this.

Craig Bankhead (Show Racism the Red Card) gave the example of a Newcastle fan who shouted racist abuse, but was given the opportunity to examine why he had done this

ask governments and organisations NOT to reduce budgets and remove obstacles for young students to become journalists

go to the areas/communities trying to get people to see that there is a whole industry in the media


Need to widen contacts lists, both a media organisation's and those of individual journalists. Often journalists are lazy and will simply keep going back to the same, known contacts who provide them with quotes. This fits in with empowering organisations to be proactive and to approach the media.

as a consequence of this: choose more women, disabled people, black people as sources of information; this could be used as a soft power

cooperation between different organisations - education, NGOs, sport institutions, media - to jointly identify problems and solutions

engage with associations, movements, NGOs, as sources of information and knowledge

Discussions to be organized with experts in journalism for a wider audience, we do not always need institutions fpr thjs

take advantage of international contacts and sharing projects/good practices is important in improvement of diversity reporting

Invite popular faces in sport at roundtables and workshops to show colleagues how interesting the sport could be

Paralympic athletes

Spreading styleguides to writing about people with disabilties (see links)

confrontation therapy?

Hans Laroes (UER/EBU) encouraged media organisations to look at who they are afraid of. He told of an exercise where he asked that question to journalists - and then told them to phone the people for quotes.

Journalists are afraid of making a mistake and looking silly, and therefore are reluctant to approach diversity stories. Meeting minority groups can help overcome fears.


Criticised as too soft by John Amaechi (he highlighted Chris Moyles not being disciplined for using the word gay as an insult on the air)

make sure work experience is paid for better motivation to do PROPER work and believe in the chance of changing the industry

budget and grants

need to to increase grants for public/private media

Internships for people with different backgrounds to come to work in the media organization; grants for journalists for cross-border reporting

duties of sport federations

help and support young people from diverse backgrounds to become journalists

listening and research

listen to the audience

closer connectivity with social media - social media surgerys, training for journalists, so that relationship to readers/viewers/users is better and more transparent

good examples from national and international media companies are a good way to promote new initiatives