Meet the Match
A Female Journalist Breaking Barriers for Covering Sports
Hanna Fauzie sat nervously across from the editor-in-chief of the Koran Sindo, an Indonesian newspaper distributed in nine provinces. Despite earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2002 and working as a reporter on two occasions in the past, she was fresh off three years in public relations. Hanna was convinced, however, that she was supposed to be a sports journalist.
“What if I don’t put you on the sports desk?” the editor-in-chief asked. Hanna was bold, remembering when she first dreamed of this career after falling in love with soccer during the 1994 World Cup. “It’s my dream—you have to help my dream come true,” she told him.
Hanna’s courageous response worked. She was hired as the only female sports reporter for the newspaper and in a decade she has covered some of the most prestigious soccer tournaments in the world: the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, 2010 World Cup, and 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. She has also conducted interviews with former soccer champions, from Franz Beckenbauer and Mario Kempes to Xavi Hernandez and Alessandro del Piero. Now the managing deputy editor, Hanna is still the only woman covering sports for the Koran Sindo.
“Every time we visit a campus to speak, I always ask the women, ‘Do you want to be sports journalists?’ Hanna says. “They raise their hands, but they’re not so optimistic about the future of the female journalist. In Indonesia, you only see women presenting the quizzes and games. They don’t think they can compete with male journalists to cover the big tournaments.”
Hanna grew up in Bogor, a city of one million people located in the West Java province, 37 miles from Jakarta. She is the second oldest in her family, with three sisters and one baby brother, and has always had their support, whether it was in pursuing journalism or running races as a teenager.
“Before my brother was born, I was coming home with bruises or bleeding from playing outside, and my parents always put Band-Aids on me and told me, ‘You are the boy we never had,’” Hanna remembers.
Although in her adult life she spends more time covering the action on the field than participating in it, Hanna is involved with all of the Koran Sindo’s sports-related events. These include the Garuda Cup, a sponsored soccer tournament for children from 8 to 13, the Run for Cervical Cancer, and the Koran Sindo Annual Futsal Tournament for Indonesian media workers and football fan clubs.
Through her participation in the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP), Hanna hopes to learn more about organizing sports events to serve woman. Most importantly, though, she wants to become a mentor to female journalists throughout the country.
“I still lack leadership and decision-making skills,” Hanna says. “I really want to improve in these areas because in my company I am the youngest of the editorial top management. I’m still not confident about making decisions that involve many people. My editor-in-chief and vice editor tell me I have to be more brave and take more responsibility. I think a female mentor could really help me in this area.”
We can think of no better mentor for the job than Kimberly Wilson, vice president of affiliate marketing at ESPN. Wilson, a two-time recipient of ESPN’s Leadership Award in Marketing, is a 15-year marketing veteran, manages a multi-million dollar budget for her 11-member team, and has a passion for mentoring women of different backgrounds. This mentorship experience with Kimberly will be invaluable for Hanna as she learns to manage her own team and make crucial decisions on behalf of her organization. Kimberly’s expertise in media, branding, and content distribution may also help Hanna develop lead stories and profile pieces that influence external audiences to believe in the power of sports for women and girls. We are excited to see what’s to come and the difference this mentorship will make in a country pressing for more women’s sports opportunities and coverage.Read the Blog Article