D Word 2

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Senior decision makers in the sports media have pledged to do more to increase diversity within the industry – working alongside BCOMS (Black Collective of Media in Sport) and other equality organisations.

Hundreds of delegates attended the #DWord2 conference on diversity in the sports media on October 24th, 2016 at BT Sport studios in Stratford, to hear a host of high-profile individuals within the business address and discuss the lack of all types of diversity in sports media.

Speakers including Simon Green, Head of BT Sport, Philip Bernie, BBC Head of TV Sport, Alex Kay-Jelski, Sports Editor of The Times, Andy Cairns, Sky Sports News Executive Editor, Stephen Lyle, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for Sport and broadcaster and former Rugby star, Maggie Alphonsi MBE discussed positive initiatives helping to address under-representation, the current shortcomings in the industry, and the need to establish progression in this area.

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Some of the facts revealed by BCOMS on the day included the findings of research into broadcast and written coverage of summer 2016’s four major sporting events (Olympics, Paralympics, European Football Championships, Wimbledon).

Examining 456 roles across the media coverage of the tournaments revealed statistics including the following:

  • 12 out of 143 roles given to women across newspapers (8.4%)
  • Only one woman out of 51 sent to Euros (1.2%)
  • Just eight black journalists (non-sports people) across 456 roles (1.75%)
  • Only six roles for BAME women across 456 (1.3%)
  • Out of 44 BAME roles, 19 were filled by former and current athletes (43.1%)

Broadcasters Hugh WoozencroftJessica CreightonBenny Bonsu and Jeanette Kwakye chaired the conference discussions.

BCOMS will now produce a guide on how to address the lack of diversity in the industry and distribute this for free.

The #DWord2 was funded by, and was part of, the FARE network #FootballPeople action weeks and also sponsored by Refresh Films, a diverse sports production company.

Leon Mann, BCOMS Founder and broadcaster, said:

“The #DWord2 was a real success! To see hundreds of delegates come together – including many of the most powerful decision makers in the business – to discuss, debate and come up with solutions to address a lack of diversity in the sports media is another significant step forward in this area.

“The focus now is on the industry taking on board many of the excellent ideas generated by the conference to help change a worrying situation where we have a sports media that is totally unrepresentative of modern society in the UK.”

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