SJA in call for more diversity at British Sports Journalism Awards

The SJA is today calling for more diversity at the British Sports Journalism Awards.

More than 600 people gathered at the Westminster Bridge Park Plaza hotel on Monday, February 25 to hail the crème-de-la-crème of sports journalism at the 2018 edition.

There were many highly-talented women writers, broadcasters and photographers in the room but an undisputed gender gap when it came to the prizes.

Francesca Cumani – joint winner of the presenter away with Ed Chamberlin and president Patrick Collins

Francesca Cumani and Naomi Baker were winners in broadcast presenter and young photographer categories respectively while broadcasters Alex Scott and Hazel Irvine, The Guardian’s Marina Hyde and photographer Anna Gowthorpe were all highly commended.

In his welcome, President Patrick Collins wrote: “Tonight I can announce a new record, with entries reaching a total figure of 630 across written, photographic and broadcast sports journalism. Slightly more than ten per cent of those entries were submitted by women, which represents considerable but insufficient progress. Sports journalism can do much better.”

Sports journalism can do much better in other ways too. There were just two winners from a BAME background – sports pundit of the year Osi Umenyiora and sports columnist Jonathan Liew with Scott and Nasser Hussain both highly commended in the sports pundit category.

Liew receives his award from Karthi Gnanasegaram

The SJA has been able to break down the figures in terms of gender. Firstly, we have around 64 female members, which makes up 9.1 per cent of the membership.

 Of the 588 entries to the British Sports Journalism Awards which can be attributed to gender (not including categories like newspaper of the year, specialist editions, broadcast teams), 61 were from women, representing 10.3 per cent of the overall entries. 

Ten of these were shortlisted out of a total shortlist of 108, representing  9.25 per cent. So 16 per cent of women who entered the competition appear on a short list compared to 18 per cent of male entrants.

The BBC and The Times entered more women than anyone else – six each.

Jessica Creighton and Boxing News editor Matt Christie

We are constantly striving to add diversity to our committee, our membership, our judging panels and our entrants.

Award presenter Jessica Creighton made the point that she had never been ‘invited’ to the Sports Journalism Awards night before.

Now that she has, how about becoming a member and entering next year, Jessica? And pass the word…

Finally, our agm is coming up soon and that means election time for our committee.

If you feel you would like to get involved with the SJA in some way, please let us know on