May 27, 2021

Lead with solutions and call it like it is

Siera Jones

Iliana Limón Romero on Wednesday  discussed just how crucial it is to advocate for diversity and inclusion in sports newsrooms. She was the first Latina sports editor at a major American daily newspaper when she took the position at the Orlando Sentinel and has been fighting for racial and gender inclusion  since.

Her zeal for creating equal opportunities within sports journalism is inspiring and often intimidating to those she challenges. She’s now the deputy sports editor at the Los Angeles Times, so she has authority in her field. My question of the day was: How do I model myself after such a fierce advocate even when I don’t have the authority she does?

Mrs. Romero’s advice was to lead with solutions, rather than problems. She explained that when any employee raises concerns with an editor by only identifying problems, their concerns will often be ignored. If I want my voice heard, and genuinely considered, I need to prepare to be the solution.

Her advice to young journalists who want to make a change in their newsroom is to offer themselves up as the solution by volunteering their time and resources, and humbly identify issues they may find in their workplace.

Her final word of advice: When you’re unsure of how to approach an issue, sometimes you just have to speak up and call it like it is, even when you're shaking from fear.

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