International Sports Journalists Visit Journalism Program

Through an international campaign, sports journalists from around the world visit school’s newspaper.


Jenna Barackman

Sports journalists from around the world visited the school's newspaper staff with Global Ties KC through the International Visitors Leadership Program Nov. 11.

Maleah Downton, Web Editor-in-Chief

Ten female sports journalists, representing all seven continents, visited the Le Journal newspaper staff Nov. 11 with Global Ties KC through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitors Leadership Program. 

“All of the women here were chosen by various members of the Department of States,” Global Ties KC Program Associate Jake Beard said. “The embassies looked for good professional individuals to bring to the United States for the purposes of training.”

Through the IVLP, 47 sports journalists were chosen to take part in the Global Ties’ Women Empowerment and Sports Journalism event. Gathering as an entire group in Washington and Portland the women were then divided into five groups—10 of whom visited Kansas City. Once, Global Ties KC received the proposals they arranged and scheduled the activities for the journalists during their stay in Kansas City from Nov. 10 to Nov. 14. 

“Once they accept it, that gets sent to my office,” Beard said. “That’s what we do at Global Ties KC. Once we get those proposals, we just send them to the best in Kansas City.”

Of those activities, Global Ties KC wanted to include a visit to a high school, according to Beard. Beard said Global Ties KC decided to come to the school’s newspaper staff based on the publication award of the 2018 Pacemaker and the finalist recognition for 2019 Pacemaker.

“I just saw that Sion won a pretty prestigious national award for the newspaper,” Beard said. “That prompted us to take a look and try to get them here.” 

This program holds great significance in modern society, according to Beard. As women remain underrepresented in the journalism industry programs like the IVLP, according to Beard, help in encouraging the advanced training for women. Of sports journalism reporting, women make up only 10 percent of print media sports reporting and 21 percent of internet media sports reporting, according to Women’s Media Center. Sports journalist Lorraine Cunningham from Malta said that this disparity is far from new. 

“Believe it or not, even though we are in the 20th to the 21st century, we still have a long way to go,” Cunningham said. “In the majority of countries, women are still not considered good enough to do sports journalism. It’s still a male-dominated world. We’re still in the minority.”