June 8, 2020

Boivin shows there have been progress, but more work needs to be done

Lila Bromberg

Every time I cover a sporting event, I take a second to look around the media room to take stock of how many female reporters there are. I’m typically one of the only ones, except a few broadcasters. At this point, it’s nothing new to me, but the lack of female sportswriters is frustrating regardless. And though being the only woman in the media corp is undoubtedly hard, the experience seldom compares to the hardships those who came before me went through. Paola Boivin, the digital director of the Cronkite News Phoenix Sports Bureau, shared some of her struggles from her days as a working journalist with the class Friday. Boivin had an especially traumatic incident when she was sent to Dodger Stadium to write an article on Cardinals third baseman Terry Pendleton for the Camarillo Daily News. She was excited about her first experience in a baseball clubhouse, but within seconds of walking in, she felt something hit her shoulder. One of the players had thrown their jockstrap at her. Then another came up to her and made a sexist remark. “It was like the worst possible thing that could happen,” Boivin said. “I was horrified. And I turned around; I wasn’t sure what to do. I hadn’t been in that situation.” After leaving the clubhouse, Boivin was lucky to have another writer come out and help her arrange an interview, but the experience sticks with her to this day. She acknowledged that much less sexism exists in professional sports locker rooms and clubhouses, but those female sports journalists still don’t have an even playing field as their male counterparts. I’ve never had to deal with such an incident, and hearing Boivin’s experience made me realize just how far the industry has come for women, even though there is tremendous progress that still needs to be made.

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