Working in sports media is no longer just a man’s game
SPORTS media is no longer just a man’s game.
There are so many talented female faces breaking down the barriers in national media in recent years.
The most notable to myself, and leading the way is Sky Sports’ anchor Rachel Wyse, then you have the likes of Jacqui Hurley, Evanne Ní Chuilinn, Marie Crowe, Sinead Kissane, Cliona Foley, and that’s just to name a few dominating sports broadcasting in Ireland.
It’s safe to say, I think, that male dominance is well and truly a thing of the past, as sheer female talent and passion makes its way up the ranks.
There was a time that there was a niche for women breaking into sports media because it was so unheard of, but now it’s just a ‘normal’ sight, for want of a better word.
However, I do find print media is still a bit backward in that sense. It’s not very often you see a female bio in the sports section of a newspaper.
But women really are taking over the airwaves and TV screens in media in Ireland.
And in general away from sport, women are being well represented across the board. This year has seen the first all-female presenting team of Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry for the RTÉ Six One News.
On a historical level in sport, Jacqui Hurley was the first female presenter to co-present Sunday Sport on RTÉ radio one.
In more recent times, while the appointment of Joanne Cantwell as presenter for the Sunday Game for 2019 is a significant development for women in sports media, it is interesting to note that she worked as a sports reporter for around 18 years, starting off in TV3 and moving to RTÉ, before getting the gig.
So she worked hard to get where she is now. Perhaps harder than a man might of had to.
While some journalists like Evanne Ní Chuilinn have come forward in the past saying they’ve experienced sexism in Irish sports broadcasting, I feel like this is becoming less and less of an issue as more and more women make a name for themselves in sports media in this country.
When I joined the weekend sports team in KFM as a producer two years ago,
there was no questions asked about whether I was up for the job or not, because the way I see it, if anyone thought I wasn’t capable, I wouldn’t have been asked.
I’ve had no bad experiences working in radio, and find there is a great mix of male and female reporters, and there are great opportunities for both equally.
When I was covering local matches for print, however, I did get a few smart alec’s making comments, not taking you seriously, thinking you don’t have a clue what you’re at.
But you just laugh it off, have a thick skin.
Because the competition is so fierce now, the only challenge I face in future, is making sure another woman doesn’t try and take my job!
And the rewarding part; proving the doubters wrong, that you are in fact well up for the task, and as shocking as it might sound to some, may in fact know as much about sport as men do.
I think male dominance is well and truly a thing of the past now as sheer female talent makes its way up the ranks
Joanne Cantwell with Dublin’s Con O’Callaghan last year.