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Sports media conference to address lack of diversity

DEBATE: The theme of this year's conference is ‘The Future’

LEADING JOURNALISTS, politicians, social media influencers, academics, campaigners and students are set to come together at a progressive conference to discuss and debate the lack of diversity in the sports media.

The D Word 3, an important one-day event organised by Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS), is supported by IMG, the Fare Network, Refresh Films, and will be hosted by BT Sport at their studios in London on the October 8.

The theme of the conference is “The Future” and the debate will focus on how sports media’s diversity and the quality of journalism and broadcasting across the industry can be improved.

Leon Mann, founder of BCOMS, called on all those wanting to get into the sports media to attend the conference and ultimately help diversify the industry.

"We are really excited about the D Word 3 and would like to thank FARE, IMG, Refresh Films and BT Sport for their support – without them, and the BCOMS board and volunteers, this conference would not be possible.

"Those attending can expect a day of debate and discussion, but importantly a totally unique opportunity to network with representatives of every media outlet in the country. Quite simply, if you want to get into the sports media, you have to be at this event.”

Under-representation of ethnic minorities and women in sports media in the UK has been well-documented. In 2016, research looking at 456 sports media roles found that there were only 12 female newspaper reporters out of a total of 143 (8.4%) across the four major sporting events that summer – the Wimbledon Tennis championships, Euro 2016 in France, the Olympic and Paralympic games in Brazil.

INCLUSION: Black sports journalists are under-represented in the industry

There were also only eight black journalists who were not former athletes across the 456 roles and only six ethnic minority women (1.3%). In TV and radio only 19 out of 113 commentators were women.

The D Word 3 conference will explore these statistics, as well as the evolution of the sports media, the growth of digital platforms and advancements in technology.

Mann said: "The D Word conferences have grown over the years and BCOMS is really proud to have helped drive some change across the sports media. We realise there is a lot more to do, but given we are an unfunded network reliant on volunteers we feel positive about our work and how it has moved the industry to take these issues more seriously.”

The situation across Europe will also be analysed in a series of special sessions hosted by the Fare Network.

The discussions will lead to BCOMS producing a diversity guide for the sports media to refer to for leading advice and guidance to help diversify the industry.

The D Word 3 is part of the 2018 #FootballPeople action weeks which take place between October 11-25.

For more details and to register to attend, visit

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