Entering sports journalism as a woman wasn’t easy for Andrea Joyce, but she was able to remain strong, overcome her critics and make a name for herself in the world of sports.
Joyce, a reporter for NBC Sports Group, gave the 2019 Frank Deford Lecture in Sports Journalism at the Belo Center for New Media on Wednesday. Her lecture, titled “‘Men, She’s Comin’ In’: My Unlikely Journey through 30 years in Sports Broadcasting,” detailed the obstacles Joyce faced as a woman in her field.
Joyce spoke about her early experiences in local news, from working as a “weather girl” to becoming the first woman to report and anchor sports in Dallas.
“I took every opportunity available to me,” Joyce said. “It just comes down to saying ‘yes’ sometimes. You take that extra step, you trust your instincts and you go for it.”
As a sports anchor in Dallas, Joyce said she faced a lot of scrutiny, including when a local TV sports critic admitted he had been taping all of her broadcasts, waiting for her to make a mistake.
“I was prepared for my broadcasts with every inch of my life,” Joyce said. “I was so nervous about making a mistake and having it be called out because I was a woman. … If there’s somebody who wants to shine a light on it because I’m a woman, there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Joyce then went on to work at CBS for nine years, covering events such as the Olympics and the United States Tennis Open Championship. She now reports for NBC and has covered multiple Olympic Games, the NBA and has interviewed figures such as U.S. gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman.
“(Joyce is) one of the most recognized figures in sports journalism,” said Michael Butterworth, professor and director of the Center for Sports Communication and Media. “We are incredibly lucky … to welcome people like Andrea.”
Biology freshman Ty Marsh, who hopes to transfer into journalism, said the lecture will have a lasting impact on him.
“Hearing (Joyce) speak about all of the experiences she earned in sports reporting from her ‘just say yes’ attitude made me excited about my future in journalism,” Marsh said.
Joyce plans to keep working with the foundation she has built for herself in sports broadcasting.
“I haven’t written my storybook ending yet,” Joyce said. “But in the meantime, I’ll keep saying yes.”