More Than Mean. Women in Sports Journalism.

The sports media culture is very male dominated and can be found all throughout the industry. Males within the industry can be very egotistical and don’t like to admit the fact that these female sports journalists may be more knowledgeable then they are. You look at any female sports journalists in most cases you will find abusive messages and comments directed at them online. This is due to the fact the sports media industry is a place where women are still noted for their looks over their qualifications, skills and knowledge. As sports fans we need to raise awareness and take a stand against the harassment these women receive just for being female and doing their job.

The issue of the harassment these journalists receive first really became obvious to the public was in 2015 when Just Not Sports made a film project with female sports journalists called #MoreThanMean. The video involved men reading out abusive online comments and messages directed towards sports journalists Julie DiCaro and Sarah Spain to their faces. Some of the comments read out included were such things as “I hope you’re Bill Cosby’s next victim” and “I hope your boyfriend beats you”. This video struck a chord with many people and the video has reached over 3 million views, which when you think about it isn’t that many in the context of such a serious issue.

Since the videos release Just Not Sports has also started a podcast about online harassment with Julie DiCario and sports journalist Andrea Hangst. People were also encouraged to share the video with the hastag #MoreThanMean.

Sports reporter for ThinkProgress Julie Gibbs instigated a #MoreThanMean roundtable with a group of female sports journalists including Julie DiCaro from the video to discuss the video, their reaction, how they handle their online abuse and how they can move forward. Some of these women were surprised in the video of how much they get used it which isn’t right.

It occurred to me that they are really used to it. And that made me really angry”

Online harassment is not a new subject, women in lots of other professions are exposed. Just with sports journalism it is seen a lot more and women are becoming so used to it. “A person who doesn’t have to be subjected to being called the c-word for having an opinion on baseball!” The video just showed how real it is for these women and others just like them. With the men apologizing in the video about the comments they are reading out strikes a chord, “Having “good men” say the same things we’ve been saying forever and day made it more real for some folks”.

“I think the sad reality is that men have to tell us something is wrong before we’ll tackle it as a culture”

The conversation also involves Men in the industry. These ladies understand the comments saying such things as Men get crappy tweets and comments to. Men also harassed online for their jobs, skills, ability. But this can undermine the women and their issue, they have unique experiences such as being criticized for who they are as people and being treated as sexual objects.

This is true women are treated as sexual objects in a lot of cases. In the sports industry most of the jobs reserved is sideline reporting which Jamie McManus from ESPNw quoted “That role is either filled by actual journalists or Miss Florida, who is, you know, an attractive young woman”. This points to the fact sports channels and networks use women for their looks and appearance to gain audience instead of letting them have opinions. This was again showed when Bleacher Report ran a story called the ’40 Hottest Sports Reporters’. Again this shows in this sports industry for women looks comes before knowledge and experience.

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These ladies talk about the future of women in this industry and the fact that they don’t discourage girls from entering this field just to start to develop a thick skin from a young age. These girls need to learn and figure out how they’re going to live and cope with this harassment and abuse because no matter what it’s coming for them. They also say that they need to remind these new women into the field that to have self-care is important. Share their experiences with each other and empathize with what others go through.

“I think it’s important to value your safety and mental health above all else”

I like these women believe this will be a long ongoing issue that will never fully go away as long as people use twitter and online where they have to right to say whatever they please. The only thing we can do is continue to speak about it, keep raising the issue. Give these women in the industry the respect they deserve no one should be judged just by their appearance and how their knowledge and experience shouldn’t be put to the side. These women are just working hard and doing their job.

Ryan Geer

Week 4 Module – Assessment 1 Reflection. Why and How?

With my audio piece I want to show the connection people can have with their homelands where they grew up and how even years later this connection can remain so special and strong. With the ambient sound I want to give it a warm feel, to help paint an image of the area in question.

Throughout the piece I want the interviewee to tell us the story of themselves in this area and how it is special to them. Make the audience feel their emotional connection with the area where the interviewee grew up. This will hopefully get listeners to reflect themselves and think about where they are from and grew up and how it is special to them and do they have a similar connection.

With the ambient sounds I wanted to capture the sounds of the nature in the area. This would give listeners the image and the feel of what it is like in the quiet country town, listening to the wildlife and other sounds.

So all up in this audio piece I want to convey the emotional connection between people and where they grew up and how even years later it can stay strong as ever.

Ryan

Look Beyond the Label.

At first glance Nelson Geer seems your typical 21 year old man. He likes hanging out and being with mates along with having many other hobbies and interests including video games, creative arts and stage acting. But behind this is the hidden fact Nelson suffers from Autism spectrum disorder and it has a major effect on his life.

This was the first I had ever really heard Nelson speak about his condition and explain the difficulties he has faced. He told me about his problems trying to focus on certain things and finding it a struggle to multi task along with his social issues talking to and communicating with others. Due to this fact, Nelson has struggled to find employment opportunities. Going to many job interviews and never quite making it upsets him and he wishes these people could see past ‘Autism’ label.

He continues from here and speaks about the Autism label; that people believe it is just a condition nothing more and that all Autistic people are the same. This couldn’t be further from the truth, everyone is an individual and has different levels of it not one is the same. He hopes for one day people to start judging himself and other people with Autism on themselves as an individual and not just as a label or a condition.

John Staats the deputy principal of Bowral High School where both Nelson and I attended high school also spoke about these labels being detrimental, because people never go that extra mile and never really get to know the person behind the label. He goes onto to explain knowing Nelson through two outlets, one through the school and the second through Nelson being very good friends with his eldest two children, saying that Nelson had a very bright future ahead of him and he’s glad he’s made a connection with such a striking young man.

As an older brother I’ve watched Nelson grow up and change from a boy into a man and watched him improve with his life and learn to live with his condition how it is. I remember the days when he could barely talk or say anything to anyone, when Mum had to tell him stuff literally thousands of times for it to sink into his brain and when he could barely get any idea or thought he had onto paper. The change has been significant for Nelson and I’ve never been so proud as when I was watching him on stage playing a lead role in a play at the theatre, which only years before would have been unimaginable.

WORDS: 435

Talent 1: Nelson Geer

Talent 2: John Staats

Storify Tweets: https://storify.com/rsgeer32/jrnl102-what-is-hidden-tweets

Ryan Geer.

Going Full Circle!!!

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Karen Geer was born in Bowral Hospital to proud parents Roger and Dawn and became the youngest of four children. Karen has a major connection to Bowral and the Southern Highlands, growing up in the same home for 18 years. The family home which was actually built by her father was a very central point for her childhood. It was only a few hundred meters from the Hospital where she was born, a couple of blocks from her Primary School and only a block and in view from her High School.

A small country town back then Karen spent much of her time outside playing sport or riding her bike around town. With her father being the local Police officer and her mother working jobs at her school’s and the hospital everyone around town knew her and the family.

After completing High School Karen made the move to Wollongong to go to University. During her seven years in Wollongong much happened in her life including meeting and marrying John Geer who was from Wollongong and had worked in the Army and on the Railway, she also completed a degree in Civil Engineering.

Wanting to start a family, Karen wanted to move away from Wollongong and wanted a place quieter so her children could have a childhood like hers. Eventually her and John bought a house in Willow Vale probably only 10 minutes from where she grew up. Not long after she gave birth to 2 boys Ryan and Nelson both born in the exact same hospital she herself was born in, in the exact same room just a level below each other.

So you can say Karen has a strong connection with Bowral and the Southern Highlands spending most of her life in the area and she hopes to spend much more time here loving it so much.

” I was born, educated, grew up and gave birth all within a 2 kilometer radius”

Ryan Geer