In our second podcast of 2015, we’re back to exploring the journey that female sports writers and broadcasters have to face on Twitter. Coming off the controversy a couple months back in Chicago when two radio personalities publicly discussed a TV sports reporter’s body, we’re talking to Kavitha Davidson, sports columnist for Bloomberg who writes plenty of controversial stories that lead to plenty of unwanted responses on Twitter. During our chat, we talk about whether she questions why she continues to write despite a backlash she knows she’ll face on just about everything she writes, what she believes rape culture to be, and how exhausting it is to cover the never-ending domestic violence issues in sports.
We also talk about whether, because of Mo’ne Davis and Ronda Rousey, we’re entering the era of badass female athletes and whether that could help change the culture.
Dana Jacobson is a star broadcaster. She worked for ESPN for a decade, anchoring SportsCenter and helping transition Cold Pizza into First Take, before leaving a contract on the table and moving over to the CBS property. During our chat, we talk about the CBS Sports Network’s new all-female sports talk show “We Need To Talk” and how she thinks it’ll play to a national audience, how much Jacobson has to fight the perception from some that women don’t know sports, and why anchoring SportsCenter was such a huge deal (“Wow,” Jacobson remembers saying. “I got here.”).
Plus, we talk about how she survived on making $15,000 per year earlier in her career, and what it’s like for her to be a woman on Twitter on a daily basis.
The impetus for my chat with Jessica Luther was her blog post on sportsgrid.com’s response to the demise of Sports on Earth, and she has a fascinating story to tell about how she marries her activism for feminist issues to writing about sports. In our chat, we discuss sportsgrid.com’s thought process on the use of click-bait, why it makes Luther sad and angry at the same time, and why she believes those kinds of websites contribute to what Luther calls the “rape culture.”
Plus, she talks about the process of writing a book on the intersection of college football and sexual assault, and Luther describes why she remains optimistic.
A quick FYI: In this episode, we talk a little about the Vanderbilt football sexual assault case. I wasn’t that familiar with it, but if you’d like a little background, here’s one of Luther’s pieces. Also, here’s her piece on her internal conflict on rooting for Florida State with Jameis Winston as quarterback.
Interviewed on 8-11-14
Here’s something similar:
I haven’t delved too often into women-in-sports-journalism issues on the podcast, but I still love Episode 22 with Claire Smith, a journalistic trailblazer and a current ESPN.com editor. We talk about her struggle to enter MLB clubhouses in the 1970s. Check it out.