Telum Talks To...Suzanne McFadden, Editor of LockerRoom

Telum Talks To...Suzanne McFadden, Editor of LockerRoom

By Chloe Arentz

Walk us through a day in your life as Editor.
My day begins at 7am when I post our LockerRoom stories on social media. I’ll go for a walk before sitting at my desk (I’ve been working from home for 20 years now, long before it was cool). We have two other media folk in our household, so there’s always plenty of work chat around the kitchen island.

I’ll check in with our talented young Writer, Merryn Anderson, who is based in Hamilton, about what our day has in store. I try to write at least two stories a week because storytelling is still my passion. It’s what keeps me inspired in this sometimes rocky business of ours. I’m also organising our story list for the week and beyond, sub-editing stories from our contributing writers, and mentoring women who want to be sports writers.

How does LockerRoom’s sports coverage differ from other media outlets?
Well, the obvious one is we exclusively cover women’s sports. We rarely run more than one story a day (not only because we’re still like a start-up) but because we concentrate on giving our readers a little more depth, colour and insight. We are afforded the luxury of stepping back and looking at the bigger picture (I don’t think I could handle quick filing anymore!). We tend to have profiles, features and opinion pieces rather than match reports, as we live by the Newsroom ethos: to fill gaps in the media landscape.

Who makes up the editorial team?
LockerRoom has two full-timers, myself and Merryn, who started with us last year as the second of the LockerRoom / Sky Sport scholarship recipients (the first was the wonderful Ashley Stanley). That two-year funding partnership gives another young woman a start in sports journalism. 

We also have a stable of awesome contributing writers, which is another great way to get more female voices heard in New Zealand’s sports media. Some of them, like Sarah Cowley Ross and Angela Walker, are former Olympians who have a great understanding of the inner workings of sports. Kristy Havill, another top sportswoman in cricket and shooting, is now our London Correspondent. I report to Newsroom’s editors, Tim Murphy (who’s also a great sub) and Mark Jennings. Both are true supporters of LockerRoom and what we’re doing.

Having edited LockerRoom since 2018, how have you seen the coverage of women’s sports evolve during this time?
As LockerRoom has grown, so has the coverage of women’s sport across mainstream media - up from 11 per cent of all sports news coverage to 15 per cent. I’d like to think the two go hand-in-hand - that maybe we triggered a reaction across the board; a reminder that there are so many stories around women in sport that for a long time have gone untold.

LockerRoom has also become an important part of the Newsroom daily offering, and it is inspiring being part of this ground-breaking independent news site and working alongside some of the very best people in the news business.

What major events or stories are you keeping an eye on for the remainder of 2022?
It’s a massive year for women in sport in New Zealand - with the Big Four international events on our doorstep. The Cricket World Cup earlier this year was unexpectedly a roaring success (well, maybe not so much for the White Ferns) considering the infinite hurdles Covid put in its way. The Rugby World Cup will be in Auckland and Northland in October, and the IWG World Conference on Women & Sport will be in Auckland in November. Then, we can look forward to the FIFA World Cup here next year, which I know will be bigger than anything we could imagine!

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Suzanne McFadden

Freelance Writer

Newsroom (New Zealand) LockerRoom

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