Women in Sports Journalism Panel Coverage

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SPJ/ONA DePaul hosted a Women in Sports Journalism Panel at DePaul’s downtown campus on April 10 that explored locker room access issues, industry trends and some great advice on making it in sports media.

The event started with the ESPN documentary “Let Them Wear Towels,” a history of female journalists working in male locker rooms.

The forum was moderated ESPN Chicago reporter and DePaul adjunct instructor Melissa Isaacson, who asked panelists about their own locker room experiences, as well as advice for aspiring female sports reporters.

Video: Panelists talk about covering male-dominated locker rooms in the 1980s and ’90s. Cheryl Raye-Stout of WBEZ leads this part of the discussion.

Veteran sports reporters Cheryl Raye-Stout (WBEZ), Shannon Ryan (Chicago Tribune) and Kerry Sayers (670 The Score) shared some of their notable locker room experiences and how the treatment of female sports journalists has changed during their careers.

DePaul alumni and former SPJ/ONA executive board members Lauren Camplin (ESPN) and Meghan Bower (Chicago Blackhawks) compared those experiences to their own and shared how they were able to break into the world of sports media.

You also can follow the conversation on Twitter by searching the hashtag #spjsports.

Video: The panelists discuss building respect on the beat and in the locker room. Kerry Sayers of 670 The Score leads this part of the discussion.

Video: Moderator Melissa Isaacson talks about former Boston Herald reporter Lisa Olson and the harassment she faced from New England Patriots players in the 1990s. The panel also discusses dealing with sexism and professional behavior in the lockerroom.

Panelist Bios:

Melissa Isaacson | @mkisaacson | Panel Moderator
Isaacson is a columnist for espnW.com, ESPN Chicago and ESPN.com. The award-winning writer has covered Chicago sports for most of her 31-year career, including at the Chicago Tribune before joining ESPN in 2009. Isaacson was the Tribune’s principal beat writer for the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls during their championship years of the early 90s, and later the Chicago Bears for seven seasons. She was also one of the paper’s most respected feature writers and columnists over her 19 years at the Tribune.

Lauren Camplin | @laurencamplin
Camplin is a content associate at ESPN. Since joining, she had worked in studio production on SportsCenter and in event production doing Big Ten basketball on ESPN. Camplin earned a spot at the worldwide leader after graduating from DePaul University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts-Journalism/Public Relations. She previously interned at NBC Chicago’s sports department, while also holding sports blogging positions. Camplin also held intern positions with various investigative journalism hubs, including the Sun-Times and NBC Chicago. She served for two years as SPJ DePaul’s vice president and was one of the group’s founding members.

Meghan Bower | @meghanbower
Bower is in her third season with the Chicago Blackhawks and second as public relations assistant. She joined the Blackhawks after graduating from DePaul University, where she received a Master of Arts in Journalism and Bachelor of Arts in Communications-Journalism, with a minor in interactive media. She previously served as public relations intern from July 2011 to January 2013 before being promoted to her current position. Prior to joining the Blackhawks, Bower worked with the Chicago Bears gameday staff, served as SPJ DePaul’s events coordinator and was one of the group’s founding members. She also was assistant sports editor for The DePaulia.

Shannon Ryan | @sryantribune
Ryan covers Illinois football, national college basketball and general assignment for the Chicago Tribune. She arrived at the Tribune in 2007, after working the previous seven years at The Philadelphia Inquirer. From 2000-07, she covered preps, the Eagles, Villanova basketball and general assignment in Philly. As a reporter, she’s covered a no-hitter, the Super Bowl, the NHL playoffs and numerous NCAA tournament appearances.

Kerry Sayers | @kerrysayers
Sayers is an update anchor for 670 The Score. Previously, she reported and anchored for WFLD Fox 32, Big Ten Network, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, FSN Northwest, Fox SportsNet Ohio and Empire Sports Network. She earned her communications degree from the University of Michigan.

Cheryl Raye-Stout | @crayestout
Raye-Stout has worked in the Chicago radio market for more than 30 years. Presently, she is the sports contributor for WBEZ-FM, and previously, she contributed to WMAQ-AM and WMVP-AM as a producer, talk show host, and as a lead sports reporter. She won Peter Lisagor, UPI and AP awards for her work on the Bulls championship rallies and Chicago Marathon. Raye-Stout has covered both Bears’Super Bowl appearances, all six Bulls championships, the Blackhawks 2010 and 2013 championships, every Sox and Cubs playoffs, including the 2005 World Series.

One thought on “Women in Sports Journalism Panel Coverage

  1. I’d like to see Kerry Sayers join ESPN in which she would do sideline reports for college Football and/or Basketball coverage & perhaps WNBA coverage.

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