Blog: “We are supporting diversity in journalism, but also diversity in sports content because women’s football receives limited media visibility”03 October 2019

MaggieMurphy,generalmanagerofthewomen’steamsatLewesFC,fromSussex,England(theonlyclubintheworldthatpaysitsmenandwomen’steamsequally),writesabouttheirinvolvementinthisyear’s#FootballPeopleweeks,whichbeginonOctober10th.

“Lewes FC is the first club in the world to split its resources equally by gender. and the first club in the UK to install ‘Football v Homophobia’ pitch hoardings, and solar panels for sustainability. We want to be an exemplary club.

We also want to support diversity in the media, this means supporting journalists from different backgrounds, but it also means making sure those new journalists also consider women’s sport as an exciting area for them in the future.

Sports journalism and media can be hard to break into, and even harder if you are a woman or from an ethnic minority. Our work will be to bring together leading journalists and practitioners in sports media to mentor and educate aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds in a hands-on practical workshop.

The event will take place before Lewes FC’s women’s team play Leicester City on October 13th. The mentoring will extend into the match, and each of the participants will put their new skills to the test as they cover the game.

The skills we are looking to support are in match-report writing and analysis, commentating, presenting, photography and videography – and we already have some incredible people confirmed to be mentors. These include commentators, presenters, pundits, film-makers and writers, peoel who ar working for the BBC, talkSPORT, BeIN Sport, and ESPN.

Aside from providing mentoring, we will also feature the aspiring journalists’ work on our social media channels and support them to have their pieces placed in official and recognised media outlets – this means many of them will get to walk away with an additional piece for their portfolio and next job interview. The Brighton Argus and the Sussex Express have already signed up to partner with us and we’re talking to local TV and radio stations too.

We are supporting diversity in journalism, but also diversity in sports content since women’s football receives limited media visibility. We hope to introduce some of the journalists to some excellent, technical, exciting football which will make them want to cover more women’s sport in the future!

The #FootballPeople weeks remind us of why we all dedicate so many hours to this crazy game. It is the most popular game in the world – and yet sometimes we make it really hard for people from some backgrounds to take part, to play, coach, referee or work in it. We need this reminder that sport is here to break down barriers, not to build them.”

The Football People weeks will take place from 10-24th October, with 150,000+ people taking part in Europe’s largest sports initiative for social change. You can still be a part of it and organise an activity. Learn more and register your activity here.