Media and sports journalism have the power to present and represent the prism through which we digest sports content. This is a huge responsibility and given the billion-dollar industry that sport constitutes, power, money and influence abound. For this reason, the joint European Union - Council of Europe project “All In Plus” has a key focus on media sensitisation. Why? Because stereotypical portrayals of women in sport, under-representation of women’s sports in the media, and the silencing of the voices of women working in sports media can all lead to a diminishing of the achievements of women in sport and beyond.
As part of the All In Plus joint project, the Council of Europe is bringing together sports media professionals from 27 countries for two informative sessions. The first session took place on 2 November 2023 in hybrid format – at Olympic House, the International Olympic Committee’s Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, and online. The next edition will take place in 2024, allowing those media professionals participating to review how their media practice has changed in the intervening period and been informed by the session.
In addition to the collaboration with the IOC, who not only hosted the session, but shared know-how and provided many speakers, the European Broadcasting Union also partnered with the Council of Europe for this event, thereby ensuring that journalists and sports media professionals were able to have access to a wide range of resources to inform the way they work going forwards. Topics touched on in this first session include: unconscious bias training, information on storytelling techniques, safe reporting, and portrayal guidelines.