The Evolution of Women in Sports Journalism - Nine North

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The Evolution of Women in Sports Journalism

The world of media is always evolving and sports media is no different. The life of a woman in sports media is a lot more difficult than it is for a man. In a Compass Program from April 2021, NineNorth talked with a few different women in sports media about their passions, work and how difficult it is to be a woman in sports journalism. 


Darian Leddy, a Production Assistant for Gopher Digital Productions; Alicia Tipcke, Sports Anchor for WDIO-TV in Duluth; and Andrea Mayeux, a freelance journalist who works with high school sports around Minnesota, joined us for a conversation about their time in sports journalism. 


“I would say five years actually is when I’ve seen the biggest shift [of women in sports media],” Mayeux said. 


Mayeux has seen an increase in women throughout all aspects of sports journalism. Reporters, photographers even content creators there are more women in sports journalism than there were five or ten years ago.


This increase is welcoming to all young women who want to get into the field of sports journalism. 


There are more women in sports media programs in school as well. 


“I’ve met so many women who are sports management majors,” said Leddy. 


Her work with Gopher Digital Productions at the University of Minnesota has introduced her to a lot of young women who are interested in the world of sports media.


“It’s definitely becoming more of a space where women are more accepted,” Leddy said. 


Leddy attributes this change not only to the women she has worked with but to the men as well. 


“They [the men] definitely just made it a great environment for women to feel empowered in such a male-dominated field,” Leddy said. 


This domination can be seen throughout a lot of news stations in the past, but this is changing. Tipcke has seen this change first hand as she watched the sports department evolve since joining broadcast journalism.


“My TV station is an all-female sports department,” Tipcke said.


When she first arrived in Duluth and started working in TV, there were only two TV stations that had female sports reporters. 


We asked our guests what they would have done differently when getting into sports journalism. 


“To not think you’re less than what you are,” Tipcke said, “I was almost fearful they wouldn’t hire me because it would make it an all-female sports department.” 


This fear is something that should not hold someone back from applying for a job they are qualified for. 


“For people out there, if you see something like that [the job] and there is that bug that is telling you to not go for it,” Tipcke said, “just go for it. Hopefully, they are willing to take that leap with you.”