OSWEGO, N.Y. — The hockey game between SUNY Oswego and SUNY Brockport was not out of the ordinary. Behind the cameras, however, the women reporting the game for WTOP-10 made history.
The student-run television station’s coverage of the game on Feb. 2 was the station’s first completely women-run hockey broadcast. The production crew consisted of 22 women.
“I’ve never worked with all women in a broadcast environment,” co-producer Natalie Barden said.
Women make up about 21% of sports reporters and 9% of sports announcers, according to job-search platform Zippia.
Being a woman in sports reporting can carry the weight of needing to constantly justify one’s inclusion in the field. Sports writer Julie DiCaro remembered when she would arrive at her job at Deadspin and not see a single other woman on staff.
“There is a ton of pressure to not make a mistake because then the narrative isn’t, ‘Oh she screwed up,’ it’s, ‘Oh, well this is why women shouldn’t be in sports,’” DiCaro said.
The station carefully planned the all-women broadcast for three months, but Barden said the idea was years in the making.
“It’s all these alumni who have come before us to do sports to put themselves in that space as a woman,” she said.
Barden hopes the broadcast will inspire young women to include themselves in a male-dominated field.
“This is not the end, it is just the beginning,” she said.