Breaking Barriers: Trailblazing Women in Sports Media

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Alexa Hines, Class of 2020

Interviews with TCU Students About their Research

Women in sports media are continuing to make strides, years after the first women entered the industry. Two trailblazers in the female sports media world are Lesley Visser and Melissa Ludtke. In everyday life, women have achieved equality in many ways, in part due to acts like Title IX. However, there are still reflections of inequality and discrimination of females in sports media today—discrimination is often directed at female athletes and female reporters. In this research, the moments discussed in each sports journalist’s section touch upon breaking barriers and the obstacles these women faced while being a trailblazing female in this industry. These women have faced bias, underrepresentation, and, at times, a hostile culture. Based on research and personal one-on-one interviews, I approach Visser and Ludtke in an exploration of their histories, where women in sports media stand today, and where women could be headed. Women have persevered in this male-dominated industry, but there are some who still feel that they don’t belong in this men’s club.

Comments from Mentors

Alexa is the embodiment of grace and patience. During the course of her project, I’m sure she found both taxed. The logistics of her project meant she was doing much of her work remotely even before the COVID-19 pandemic. When the world ground to halt in the spring, she didn’t miss a step. I couldn’t be prouder of package presented.

Jean Marie Brown

Alexa took a topic that we talked about in our Contemporary Issues in Sports Media class—the challenges women face as sports journalists—and developed it into a multimedia project, getting impressive access to important journalists and allowing them to tell their stories in their own words. As women continue to face exclusion and harassment for seeking careers as sports reporters, Alexa documents how important some of the pioneers were in making these careers at all possible, and the inspiration they provided for later generations of journalists.

Dr. Daxton "Chip" Stewart

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Bob Schieffer College of Communication