Podcasts, Publications, Publishers, Social responsibility

Deadspin editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell on a bigger mission for sports journalism

On this week’s episode, Megan Greenwell, editor-in-chief of Gizmodo Media’s sports site Deadspin challenges the ‘toy department’ misconception of sports journalism, sets her Twitter filters against the trolls and focuses on the work instead of a dysfunctional parent company.

In the news round-up, the team take a cynical look at what the changing of the guard at the Daily Mail means for the brand, and whether a ‘European Netflix’ is viable. Peter takes an unexpected turn against paywalls.

We’re reading:

In our own words: Peter Houston

I’m not really a sports fan. Growing up in the West of Scotland the tribalism smothering football was too much for my sensitive soul and rugby was for posh boys. Music was a much safer bet.

As a journalist, I have to confess to thinking of the back pages as somehow lesser. But Megan Greenwell’s publication Deadspin challenged me to think again about my ‘sports = lightweight’ preconceptions.

Even before I knew I was speaking with her, I devoured Deadspin’s Sinclair TV Propaganda Montage and jumped on the article her team wrote about the US President uninviting the Super Bowl winning team to the Whitehouse. Who wouldn’t read a post headlined ‘Flag-Humping President Disinvites Eagles From White House Visit’?

That kind of irreverence is all over Gizmodo Media’s sports title. As Megan puts it, they try to go with the headlines other journalists think but can’t publish. But that doesn’t mean Deadspin is all style no substance – the staff frequently publishes investigative pieces, ranging from the

NFL’s anthem protests and failure to pay out on concussion claims, to the frat-boy misogyny that pervades elements of US sports.

And just three months into the job and the first woman editor in chief of Deadspin, Megan has seen more than her fair share of misogynistic trolling. We spoke about how she handles it, but also about why it’s important that people of all genders, races and sexuality face down the abuse and just keep showing up.

It’s too easy to call for diversity just because diversity is the right thing to call for. Hearing Megan, someone who walks the walk daily, talk about the importance of having different voices in journalism was genuinely inspiring. She asks, “Why wouldn’t diversity be important… people who come from a different background than I do notice different stories. It just seems like such an obvious journalistic decision to me.”

She’s right and I salute her and her team for their dedication, enthusiasm and humour. May they call out the Flag-Humper in Chief for as long as he needs calling out.

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