The Female Voice in Sports Media

More than 40 years after its birth, the impact of Title IX legislation can be seen in the vast number of women participating in sports compared to a generation ago. Likewise, there has been a rise in the number of female journalists who cover sports, with the fight for equality of access to the press box and locker room not unlike the fight for equal access to the playing field.

The state of sports journalism today, the advantages and disadvantages women face in the media and the perceptions they must overcome were addressed during “The Female Voice in Sports Media,” the fifth installment of the “Beyond the Box Score” lecture series hosted by Medill and Northwestern Athletics.


This year’s lecture was co-sponsored by the Northwestern Women’s Center and One Book One Northwestern.

Rachel Nichols serves as the sole sports anchor at CNN, where she contributes exclusive reporting, commentary and analysis on the biggest sports stories across the network. Prior to joining CNN and Turner Sports in January 2013, Nichols spent nine years at ESPN, where she was a correspondent for SportsCenter, NFL Countdown, NBA Countdown and E:60.

Pam Oliver joined the NFL on FOX team in 1995. She contributes feature stories and sideline reports for the NFL on FOX, FOX NFL SUNDAY and FOXSports1. She also contributes to Turner Sports’ coverage of the NBA playoffs. Before working at FOX, she was a reporter at ESPN. Oliver graduated from Florida A&M University.

Cassidy Hubbarth is an anchor on ESPN’s SportsCenter and hosts NBA Tonight on ESPN2. She joined ESPN in 2010 as a studio anchor and host for college football and basketball on ESPN3. Prior to ESPN, Hubbarth was a host and reporter at the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports South.

Moderator Christine Brennan is an award-winning national sports columnist for USA Today, a commentator for ABC News, CNN, PBS NewsHour and National Public Radio, a best-selling author and a nationally-known speaker. Twice named one of the country’s top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors, she has covered the last 16 Olympic Games, summer and winter. She was the first woman sports writer at The Miami Herald in 1981 and the first woman to cover Washington’s NFL team as a staff writer at The Washington Post in 1985. She was the first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) and started a scholarship-internship program that has supported more than 130 female students over the past two decades.