THE BACKGROUND

    How bad are things in the sports media? Take a moment to reflect on the engagement and participation of black communities in sport. It is estimated that up to 30% of professional footballers in the English professional leagues are black, while professional boxing and athletics boast a high percentage of black athletes. Some of our greatest national sporting heroes, from Jessica Ennis-Hill and Lewis Hamilton to Mo Farah and Daniel Sturridge are from the black community. It is uncomfortable, then, when we do not see this diversity reflected in the sports media. While there are no formal statistics available on this issue, and very little proactive monitoring is in place, BCOMS has compiled the following observations:
    TWO

    TWO

    Just two BAME sports journalists went to EURO 2016 across 51 newspaper roles.

    ZERO

    ZERO

    There has never been a black Sports Editor on a national mainstream newspaper.

    ZERO

    ZERO

    There is not one black Sports Columnist across the national mainstream papers. The only black columnists are all current or ex professional sportsmen and women, not sports journalists.

    SIX

    SIX

    Just six out of 456 roles - in broadcast and written media - covering Wimbledon, EURO 2016, Rio Olympics and Paralympics were BAME women.

    EIGHT

    EIGHT

    Only eight of the 456 roles covering summer events in 2016 went to black journalists who have not played sport professionally.

    SUMMARY

    This of course is just the black experience. Other communities and groups face different challenges – but what binds us is our underrepresentation.

    ABOUT BCOMS

    ABOUT BCOMS

    Working across the full breadth of the sports media – in TV, radio, online and print – BCOMS members include award-winning journalists, producers, presenters, researchers, production managers and editors. BCOMS members work for the top names in media, including the BBC, Sky, ITV, Channel 4, major independents and across the written press. BCOMS believes that African, Caribbean and mixed race people are significantly under-represented in the sports media despite disproportionate interest in, and achievement from, the community on the field of play. As a network, we feel the lack of diversity across the sports media – both in front and behind the camera, in the written press, online and in radio – has reached a critical point. And while diversity is a hot topic in most sectors, astonishingly sports media has never been put under the microscope.

    BCOMS D WORD 2 CONFERENCE. We recently held our second conference on diversity in the sports media. Hundreds of delegates joined a host of high-profile figures within the industry at BT Sport studios.

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