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NCTJ hails rise in percentage of women studying sports journalism

HelenBrownThe NCTJ has hailed an increase in the proportion women studying sports journalism courses.

During the 2023/24 academic year, just one in five students registering to study with NCTJ-accredited UK sports journalism courses were women, according to the training body.

Although still short of the NCTJ’s target of 25pc female representation on its sports courses, the figure shows a significant increase from 7pc in 2021/22 and 14pc in 2022/23.

The latest data was released to mark International Women’s Day on Friday.

Helen Brown, pictured, senior news editor at BBC Sport, said: “It’s great to see more women pursuing a career in sports journalism, not least as the profile of women’s sport increases.

“It is only right that women see this as a career they can really thrive in.”

Mark Alford, director of Sky Sports News, said: “The best stories come from newsrooms with a diversity of thought. Sports journalism has long been seen as a male-dominated industry.

“These statistics are really positive and will help to demonstrate that this is an attainable and rewarding career path for women. But there is still much work for the industry to do to bring more talent through – and for all of us to do in challenging the blatant misogyny being embraced by vocal minorities on social media right now.”

Joanne Forbes, NCTJ chief executive, said: “It’s great to see more women registering on NCTJ-accredited courses this academic year and I’d like to thank our centres and media organisations for the fantastic work they’re doing to promote sports journalism careers.

“When these talented women enter the newsroom, we hope they will develop their careers and help turn the tide in making sports journalism more representative of the audience it serves.

“However, we know there is more work to do not just to reach our target of 25 per cent representation, but also to retain women sports journalists and to promote them into senior leadership roles.”