Kimberley Martin discusses her challenges and breakthroughs as a female sports journalist

Washington Redskins reporter Kimberley Martin reflected on the challenges female sports reporters face at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism Feb. 19.

Martin, who works for The Washington Post, talked with eight undergraduate students via webcam.

“We had a meeting back in January and we asked people who they most wanted to see. She was the name that was requested 4 or 5 times especially because she is new to the area,” said Megan Smedley, co-president of the Association for Women in Sports Media UMD chapter who sponsored the meeting. “She has done so much and shes still pretty young.”

Martin was chosen as one of two 2018 Super Bowl inside reporters responsible for conveying practice and behind the scenes team information to all the rest of the news agencies in the country. It marked the first time two female reporters were selected as the exclusive Super Bowl reporters.

But Martin is used to leading the way for women in sports media: she is the only African American female beat writer covering the NFL for a major news organization in the country.

“Let’s face it,” Martin said. “I’m a black chick covering the NFL. There isn’t anyone that looks like me.”

Since she previously covered the NFC East at The Post, Martin was assigned as the inside reporter to the Philadelphia Eagles, at the Super Bowl. 

“Each team has one writer that is allowed to go to practice. You go to every practice…[and] you interview the coach at the end,” Martin said. “From noon to five, your day is wiped, because you’re watching two hours of practice and then writing these reports.”  

Martin worked alongside Nicki Jhabvala, lead Broncos and NFL beat writer for The Denver Post. Jhabvala was paired with the New England Patriots.

“It’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of work because you have to then write a practice report that gets reviewed by the NFL,” Martin said. “That report goes out to all the reporters as well, so all the Eagles writers that you may follow on Twitter, they were reading my practice report.”

Though the hours are long and the work is daunting, Martin said that the experience gave her writing the extra “color” she needed.

“My night of the Super Bowl story led with how they broke down the huddle in the practice the day before. It’s that behind-the-scenes color that made it interesting,” Martin said. “You have to use the color that you have from during the game, the color that you had from watching practices all week, and then you have to write.”

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