Some of the most powerful people in sports media will come together with broadcasters, journalists and equality campaigners to discuss the lack of diversity in the industry. The #DWORD2 conference will take place today (Monday 24 October) at BT Sport studios.
BCOMS will present a snapshot of the current state of the sports media – having conducted some research into the broadcast and written coverage of four major sports events this summer (Olympics, Paralympics, European Football Championships, Wimbledon).
Examining 456 roles across the media coverage of the tournaments revealed statistics including the following:
*456 sports media roles across summer 2016’s four major sporting events
Speakers at the conference include ground-breaking broadcaster and former England rugby star, Maggie Alphonsi MBE, Head of BT Sport Simon Green, BBC’s Head of TV Sport, Philip Bernie, Executive Editor of Sky Sports News, Andy Cairns, Sports Editor at The Times, Alex Kay-Jelski and Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for Sport, Stephen Lyle. BBC broadcasters Hugh Woozencroft and Jessica Creighton will host the day.
The solution-based conference will feature two workshops focusing on how to recruit the next generation and look at which initiatives promoting greater diversity in the industry have been effective so far.
The ultimate aim of the day is to come up with deliverable aims and targets for the sports media, which will be documented and then distributed through a D Word 2 guide.
The conference is part of the FARE #FootballPeople action weeks against racism and discrimination in football and is sponsored by Refresh Films, an independent diverse production company.
Leon Mann, BCOMS founder and broadcaster, said:
“We are delighted to be holding the #DWord2 conference at BT Sport. It’s a fitting home for such an important event as it is based in one of the most diverse parts of the country.
“The current state of diversity in the sports media is pretty depressing. But let’s not waste time feeling down about it. We need to find solutions, ask searching questions of our own contributions in this area, and ultimately set some achievable goals for the industry to deliver.
“We can’t wait for things to get better with time. Nor can we accept a situation where you have to win an Olympic gold medal or play in the Premier League to get a shot in this industry. If we do – we let down another generation of aspiring sports journalists from diverse backgrounds.”
Simon Green, Head of BT Sport, welcomed the conference:
“We are proud that BCOMS is hosting the #DWord2 at BT Sport. We welcome the opportunity to continue working with them during the conference.
“We want diversity, equality and inclusion to sit at the heart of BT Sport and so we are totally committed to helping the sports media become more representative of the UK and its communities.
“We look forward to a day of discussion, problem-solving and debate.”