Written by Lewis Tizard, second-year Sport Journalism BA(Hons) student
Sky Sports presenter Kelly Cates believes women can now “see a path for themselves” when seeking careers in journalism and the media.
Cates, who also works as a presenter Radio 5 Live, was speaking to University of Brighton Journalism and Sports Journalism students at the University’s annual Sport Journalism Lecture.
Cates said: “As I have gone through my career, it’s coincided with women becoming more involved in sport. I see it with younger reporters coming through and women who are in the earlier stages of their careers.
“They see a path for themselves now, whereas I’m not sure I did. Gabby Logan, Sue Barker (aside), there weren’t that many women to help me see a path for myself. But as I kept on working things started to open up as I went along. I’ve never been the first woman to do anything, but I still think there is a perception that women won’t be able to make the next step, when in fact that’s not the case at all.
“The women working across sport – we all know each other and we’re all really supportive of one another. It’s not a backstabbing group where everyone is trying to get one over. We are all genuinely really pleased for each other when something comes along.”
The 42-year-old was chosen to be part of Setanta’s Premier League coverage in 2007, and has since worked on many forms of football packages, ranging from the Football League to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Cates was part of a four-person lecture panel at the University’s Eastbourne campus. The panel also featured fellow Sky Sports colleagues Geoff Shreeves, Martin Tyler and Billy McGinty.
The trio shared views on the importance of journalism.
Shreeves, touchline reporter for Sky Sports, said: “Journalism is a funny thing because it’s not a science, you can’t add numbers together. It’s a touch. It’s a feel. It’s not something you can Google and say ‘what is the story here’. It’s a fantastic and fascinating craft.”
Tyler, Sky Sports commentator and considered the voice of football, is concerned for the future of journalism, due to, he said, television becoming more pictorial and musical and far less journalistic.
He did support journalism though, adding: “At ITV when I was an editorial assistant, we dealt all the time with stories, and for every game it is ‘what is the story’. I always read all the papers after the game to see how they’ve reported it journalistically. If you want to be a journalist, the who, what, when, how and why are always important – the facts of the matter are always important.
“If you do something glossy but it’s libellous or slanderous because you don’t have any journalistic skills, then you’re in trouble. For me, the journalistic standards need to be assessed in television at the minute, and if you’re the guys (the students) to do it, then well done.”