The rising age of digital media has been a welcome development for women in the media, giving them more opportunities to engage in sports broadcasting and journalism.

And while today’s issue of gender inequality no longer is as intense as in previous decades, many women still struggle to find their path and voice in their chosen field.

The Women in News and Sports (WINS) Initiative sought to address these concerns by holding a mentoring program in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Philippines, last week.

Run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s International Development United, WINS conducted a four-day training and seminar in Manila with a select group of female broadcast journalists, sportswriters and college students to share their key goals: To support the professional development of female journalists in the region, particularly in sports journalism, and to increase the quality of coverage of women and women’s sports.

Funded by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Australian aid program and supported by the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, WINS project manager Karen Shrosbery and ABC Australia’s seasoned commentator Tracey Holmes tackled the country’s landscape in terms of women in news and sports before delving into technical aspects such as storytelling and content creation, interviewing and commentary, and finding one’s niche.

Resource speakers, among them Sports 5-ESPN 5 head Patricia Bermudez Hizon, Philippine Sports commissioner Celia Kiram, 2016 Rio Olympics weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Fairplay For All Foundation executive director Roy Moore and Philippine Football Rugby Union’s Jovan Masalunga, were also invited to discuss sports development in the country.

The group was also able to meet with Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely at her residence.

“It’s a great opportunity for everyone, even for me who’s been in the industry for long, to refresh our knowledge and sharpen our skills in our chosen field. It gives us a wider perspective,” said ABS-CBN senior reporter and athlete Dyan Castillejo.

Practical applications were also done during the four-day course like shooting better pictures using smartphones, doing basic commentary during a live PBA game, participating in the FIBA 3×3 press conference and covering the said event.

Holmes, whose extensive career in television and radio brought her to work in different cities around the globe, said the mentoring program is a balance of practical application and discussion.

It is also a way for participants to network their way in their field and learn from each other’s experiences, she added.
The Manila program became a two-way process as far as Shrosbery is concerned.

“It’s also an experience for me because I’ve learned as much as (you) do, from the context of sports journalism in (your) country by hearing your stories. It’s so inspiring. We’re hoping to use these in our next programs,” Shrosbery said.

Manila is the eighth country in the Indo-Pacific region where WINS had held the initiative and Shrosbery is looking forward to hosting it in other countries like Sri Lanka in the next 18 months.

For now, participants and speakers can savor the rare experience brought about by the even rarer gathering of personalities and ideas in the new platform.

And women in sports journalism – in front of TV cameras or at press tables – are looking to make the most out of it in the digital world.

Date: June 12, 2018 | Newspaper: Manila Bulletin | Source: