Females outnumber males in sports journalism workshop

Cynthia Wang's media passes to past Olympics. Photo by Ellie Lieberman

Instructor Cynthia Wang displays her media passes for past Olympics. Photo by Ellie Lieberman.

For instructor Cynthia Wang, 2016 was the first time in her experience female cherubs outnumbered male cherubs in the Sports Journalism workshop.

The workshop featured a variety of speakers, including Wang, ESPN reporter Adam Rittenberg and community associate Dan Waldman, the assistant sports editor at The Daily Northwestern.

The major components of the workshop included Wang’s guide to covering the Olympics with PEOPLE Magazine, a Q&A with Rittenberg and a slide presentation by Waldman.

Wang had a clear message.

“You need to aim big and cover big events and be proud of the knowledge that you have and expand on it,” Wang said.

Gabby Birenbaum said the workshop aimed to show cherubs the different paths they can take in sports journalism.

“It was very interesting to be able to hear from all three different perspectives in the sports world — reporting in high school and college with Dan, a professional in ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and Cynthia with the Olympics,” Bobby Kirschenbaum said.

Wang has covered Olympic athletes including swimmer Michael Phelps and beach volleyball player Misty May Treanor. Her talk focused on the nuances of the Olympics, such as where to sit at the games and the best times to interview athletes.

Rittenberg spoke to cherubs about what he has learned through blogging about Big Ten football for ESPN. Birenbaum said Rittenberg taught her to update her sports blog daily. Other cherubs took away lessons about Twitter and the best methods to connect with athletes and other sports figures.

Waldman provided a before-, during- and after-guide to games. In his talk, he discussed how to gain press pass access to sporting events and how to cover more obscure sports like wrestling and field hockey.

Ella Brockway said the workshop boosted the confidence of female students interested in sports.

Brockway was nervous she wouldn’t find many like-minded female sports journalists among the other cherubs, but noticed there were many at the workshop.

“For women going into sports, I wanted to pass on the absolute confidence that this is the right thing to do and to not be intimidated by going into the field,” Wang said.

Wang said having the opportunity to hear three sports journalists at different stages in their careers benefited all the students, regardless of gender.