London Sport and BCOMS to support media diversity at London Youth Games


London Sport and BCOMS (Black Collective of Media in Sport) have announced a new partnership to support young BAME Londoners to forge careers in sport journalism.

Built around the 2019 London Youth Games, the project will see young BAME Londoners given training by experienced BCOMS journalists and offered media access to London Youth Games events during the 2019 season.

Supported and backed by London Sport as part of efforts to diversify the capital’s broader sporting workforce, the project aims to provide valuable volunteering support to Europe’s largest youth sports festival, while providing a practical means to enhance diversity in sports journalism by providing invaluable exposure to real reporting opportunities across London.

Commenting on the partnership, Tove Okunniwa, Chief Executive of London Sport, said:

“Having spent a significant number of years working for one of the world’s biggest broadcasters, I have seen first-hand the important role that greater diversity can bring, both to the media and to the sport industry.

“By working with BCOMS, I am delighted that we will be supporting efforts to enhance future media diversity while also providing tangible support to the London Youth Games, which remain a vital part of the capital’s sporting fabric.”

The project was announced at yesterday’s D Word 3 Conference (below), where leading figures from journalism, sport, academia opened a collective debate on the future of the sports media and the opportunities to create a more diverse media as forms of journalism evolve to meet new consumer trends.

Research conducted by BCOMS to coincide with the conference showed:

  • Just three journalists sent to cover the 2018 FIFA World Cup by national newspapers were from a BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) background and only three were female. This was from a total of 63 journalists sent to Russia.
  • Journalists of a British Asian background were only given seven roles across the 338 covering the FIFA World Cup, Winter Olympics and Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, Wimbledon and the inaugural European Championships in broadcast and the written media.
  • There were only five roles given to journalists of an African-Caribbean background, who didn’t have a professional sports career, across the 338 positions.
  • There wasn’t a single woman from a BAME background involved in any of the written coverage of the major events looked at by BCOMS in 2018 across the national newspapers.

Leon Mann, Founder, Black Collective of Media in Sport, said:

“The sports media has a serious problem with under representation and BCOMS are committed to playing a role in changing that.

“The partnership with London Sport is highly significant for us, as this support allows our network to deliver some very practical outcomes, while helping to provide the industry with some new diverse talent.

“We cannot wait to work with the young people and see them thrive at the London Youth Games and beyond.”

Jonathon Hughes, CEO London Youth Games, added:

“We are excited to be involved with London Sport to continue the growth and development of the Games by providing the young people of London with a chance to be their best, whether that be through participating or enhancing the profile of the Games as talented and upcoming journalists.

“This work also underlines our commitment to ensuring that, in everything we do, we reflect the diversity and needs of the whole of London and its communities.”

To find out more click here.


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