BAME sports journalists need pathway into media industry, says Sami Mokbel
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 05/03/19 4:18pm
BAME sports journalists need a clear pathway into the media industry, says Daily Mail football writer Sami Mokbel.
Mokbel, who was speaking to Sky Sports News following Monday's broadcast of Tackling Racism: The Media, says it is imperative that young people who are black, Asian and minority ethnic are inspired to pursue sports journalism careers, and are given opportunities to impress.
"First and foremost - and this goes for any industry and any job - you need to be good enough," he said.
"It's certainly easier for a white, emerging young journalist to get his foot through the door. That's what we have to change.
"But when you get your foot through that door, it's important to have the attributes to do the job better - or as well - as the person next to you.
"As an industry, we can do more. We should go down to schools in ethnically diverse areas where you get a landscape of different nationalities.
"Speak to them about how great going to these (football) games are. Hopefully, trigger something that makes them want to be a sports journalist.
"I think that's where we start - inspiring that younger generation in schools, community groups and youth clubs.
"We really need to do more to get more non-white journalists. Off the top of my head, on the England beat in the summer, full-time I think I was the only BAME journalist (in Russia)."
We really need to do more to get more non-white journalists. Off the top of my head, on the England beat in the summer, full-time I think I was the only non-white BAME journalist (in Russia).
Daily Mail football writer Sami Mokbel
Mokbel praised England and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling for sparking the debate on racism in sports reporting earlier this season.
"If it takes Raheem Sterling to be a maverick and lead that charge, I'm all for it," Mokbel added.
"We have to self-analyse. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror as journalists and as an industry and say 'Am I doing the right thing?'
"For example, describing Yaya Toure in his heyday... am I doing the right thing in calling him a midfield beast? Having looked at myself in the mirror, I would suggest not.
"It's a big step and we've accepted that. The next step and to move forward would be when writing a story, writing an article, is to have that consciousness in your mind about doing the right thing.
"Having thought about it greatly and deeply over the last few months, perhaps there is an unconscious bias there in terms of how we describe certain players.
"What's important is how we move on from that. We have to move on from that."