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Pakistani Journalist Wants to Spread the Love of Sports

Fatima Saleem was born to deliver the news. From an early age, she understood the power of information and the ways information shaped public perception. “History is explained through the eyes of journalists,” so within journalism there is great power. Fatima’s position as one of the only female sports journalists in Karachi provides a unique perspective on sports news.

“My vocation as a sports journalist combines two distinct passions of my life, the power of information and my love of sports. I joined the world of electronic media in Pakistan in its infancy. In a country where people were finally able to receive a narrative other than that espoused by the government, everyone wanted to know the news and I wanted to be there to help them receive it.”

Growing up, Fatima was a fan of many sports, including cricket, football, basketball, and tennis. She also was an avid swimmer and dreamed of becoming an Olympic champion. Unfortunately, pursuing that dream was difficult. Fatima needed a female coach who could take her to the next level; she also needed a culturally appropriate place to swim or a swimsuit with long tights. Although the challenges were not insurmountable, they made it difficult to continue. In the end, no one pushed Fatima to swim and she lost interest in this dream. “I became lazy. I should have pushed myself, even if I had to wear tights under my swimsuit. I gave up on my dream and it was a mistake. I don’t want other girls to make the same mistake. I want to push them to follow their dreams.”

As a female sports reporter in Pakistan, Fatima has faced many challenges in pursuing her career. When it comes to Fatima’s new set of challenges, she is not giving up. Through this mentoring program, she hopes to meet other women who can give her the guidance and advice she needs to become a mentor to other aspiring sports journalists. She wants to train the next generation of female sports reporters by introducing sport courses in schools and by starting clubs or academies for underprivileged girls. We believe ESPN can offer Fatima the tools and resources she needs to forge new paths for the next generation. We look forward to the mentorship that will take place between Fatima and Jodi Markley, senior vice president of operations at ESPN.

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