Kimberly Martin doesn’t see too many people like her in the newsroom.
She expressed some of her concerns while speaking to students via FaceTime Monday in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.
“There are no women that look like me,” said Martin, the Washington Redskins beat writer for The Washington Post. That, to me is really frightening.”
Martin is the only black, female beat writer covering an NFL team for a major newspaper. Because there aren’t many women in the ranks, she said it can feel like there isn’t anyone to lean on. She described some of the challenges of being taken seriously as a female sports writer as “growing pains.”
She started the 2017 NFL season covering the New York Jets, then moved to the Buffalo Bills before ending up at The Post. When the Redskins failed to make the postseason, she covered the Philadelphia Eagles as one of two pool reporters for The Post.
Martin also stated the league’s 16-game schedule as an obstacle when writing stories.
“The biggest challenge, I’ve found, is for you to be able to write well about an event that everybody has already seen,” Martin said. “Writing on deadline and covering football is a full-time job. Rule No. 1: There is no offseason.”
MacKaiya Cherry, a sophomore broadcast journalism major, said she always dreamed of being on TV. However, she had second thoughts about her concentration after listening to Martin.
“I can do writing because I don’t want to pigeonhole myself to one thing,” Cherry said.
Despite only covering the Redskins for a short amount of time, Martin said she doesn’t see her covering the team – or football – for the rest of her career. She said she’s interested in other areas and encouraged students to branch out as well.
“Now is the time try different things,” Martin said. “It’s ok if you don’t stay there forever, but you will acquire new skills. Don’t be afraid to find out what you don’t want to do.”
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