Moment of self-growth for Indonesian women sports journalists
For International Women's Day one of Indonesia's leading sports journalists and a participant in the Team Up WINS program, Hanna Fauzie, reflects on the past 12 months.
By Hanna Fauzie, Indonesian sports journalist and participant in the Women in News and Sport (WINS) program.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit all of us really hard. But, there was no other way and we needed to bounce back and adapt to the new situation. For sports journalists, with many sports events cancelled, the pandemic unexpectedly gives us room to expand, learn and grow.
The year 2020 was supposed to be great for sports, but it was nothing but terrible news; the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020 were cancelled, and so too were many other sports.
Here in Indonesia, we have to accept with heavy hearts that the chance to hold the Formula E and 2021 FIFA U21 World Cup are now in despair.
So, with more free time not covering sports events, opportunities to grow in self-development opened up. Personally, the pandemic has encouraged me to run more skills courses and mentoring; as one of the leaders in my organisation, I encourage reporters and editors to expand their abilities and potential through training.
Working together with the stakeholders at the office, trainings are held online - the topics vary from how to develop deep connection to our sources to conducting effective interviews online, as well as search engine optimisation (SEO) trainings and multimedia courses.
During the pandemic, we have maximised social media platforms in order to increase engagement with our audience; Instagram Live is a favourite where we invite guests from many fields; actors; athletes; health and medical experts; musicians; politicians; and so on.
But journalists also need support during this hard time, so we have also created a space so that all of the journalists and other co-workers are able to share their problems and work on solutions.
I also found myself hosting my own sports talk show on YouTube. Every week I invite guests such as athletes, sports experts and commentators to talk about hot issues in sports industry - including other WINS alumni to discuss the challenges that female sports journalists face in doing their jobs.
I remember before COVID-19 (at one of the WINS trainings in Indonesia), my WINS trainer and ABC mentor Tracey Holmes said “never limit yourself, you must dig all your potentials”, and the pandemic somehow has become a perfect time to develop new skills and capabilities.
That 'moment' also hit my fellow female sports journalist, Aprelia Wulansari. “I am always willing to try and experience something new in expanding my network and skills,” Aprelia said.
That’s why she was very excited to enrol in a WINS podcast course last year that ran online during the pandemic.
As a result, Aprelia established a podcast for her organisation Skor.id, called ‘Podcast Skor Indonesia’. In fact, Skor.id is the first Indonesian media organisation to have an official podcast.
What is even more exciting is that the training has enabled Aprelia to share the knowledge and experience with other female sports journalists in her organisation.
Aprelia and her team have already set another goal; within three months she’s planning to launch another podcast, called Podcast Motorsport.com Indonesia.
The podcast will discuss specific topics related to racing such as MotoGP, Formula One, and Formula E.
“We (Indonesia) are on the MotoGP calendar (2021 in Mandalika Circuit, Nusa Tenggara Barat) and this is a very interesting topic to be discussed," she explained.
Working outside their comfort zones were two other female sports journalists and WINS alumni; Brigitha Sesilya and Femi Diah.
Under the name “Duo Manis” they work closely with several sports organisations such as the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI), and have adapted their skills as written journalists to being hosts and moderators of a series of sports webinars with PBSI.
“Doing those events makes me realise there are many opportunities for female sports journalists, and I am loving it,” Brigitha said, optimistically.
She also focuses on women’s sports and has been leading online discussions about challenges that women athletes and women sports representatives have, related to gender equality in the Olympics.
“I love these kind of discussions because we are not only involving the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (Kemenpora), but also the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Children Protection (KPPPA).
"I think, with gender equality, Indonesia will have better achievements in many sporting events,” Brigitha added.
Femi works at Detik.com and cherishes the ‘good’ that has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. She says she never imagined that she would be the host of a webinar.
“The pandemic has opened a lot of opportunities that previously I was not aware of, such as building relationships and networking online,” Femi said.
WINS is run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s International Development Unit (ABCID) and is supported by the Australian Government through Team Up.