This week’s featured media mogul in the making is the founder and editor-in-chief of sports new site, Sports As Told By A Girl, Ashleigh Binder. Learn more about Ashleigh’s journey below.
You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?
“First of all, thank you! Honestly, I never thought of journalism as a career. I was always obsessed with the media and how celebrities and athletes were covered. I was an avid sports fan as a kid and had a major opinion about them that I wasn’t afraid to express. As a woman I was always quickly dismissed for not possibly knowing as much as men do simply because I was a female and that lit the fire! I knew my purpose in life was to fight for equality for all women. Plus Beyoncé has a full female band and if you could be like anyone wouldn’t you chose Beyoncé?”
How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?
“I didn’t study communications until graduate school! I was a psychology major as an undergraduate student. I always loved creative writing and always had an opinion on sports. It wasn’t until I took a class my senior year of undergrad where I even considered writing my opinion on the internet. The class required students to maintain a website and that was it. I came up with the name, Sports As Told By A Girl, within minutes of reading the directions. It was the first college class that the professor told me that I was really good at something and should keep doing it. At first I kept it as a personal blog for me to write my thoughts. However, when I graduated and realized how hard it was to get a foot in the door in sports media, I knew I wanted to expand the site. I wanted other female writers who were also looking for a safe platform to voice their honest opinions.”
Tell us how you built up your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?
“My mission is to make a woman’s voice in sports a normal thing. It’s great that we’re shattering glass ceilings, but I can’t wait until a woman is hired and she’s not the first woman in the position or the first Black woman in the position. I think we are making progress towards that and I hope I am making even the smallest impact on moving the needle forward.
My audience is all sports fans. I want everyone from the casual fan to the most diehard, never miss a game fan to check out the site. I am hoping to impact young women who want to break into sports media or media in general, but need a push to get out there.”
So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?
“I have two. One is that I had articles featured on Bleacher Report which is one of the biggest media outlets and an app I have on my phone which I thought was so cool! It felt like they added legitimacy to my writing.
The second moment was just recently one of the women who used to write for the site reached out to me during the height of the protests and thanked me for supporting her when she wrote about the death of Stephen Clark in Northern California and how athletes responded to it. She told me she didn’t know if it was “appropriate”, but my support pushed her to write it. That was the moment all of the hard work was worth it. I want women to feel comfortable writing about difficult topics especially ones as important as police brutality. I want to be that support system that reminds women in a society that wants to suppress your voice, please know it needs to be heard.”
What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field?
“Keep going. This is honestly the hardest part. Staying motivated can be tough especially when you feel like your social media accounts aren’t growing, but you have to push through. It’s okay if you need a mental reset or break, but don’t give up! We all need a break from staring at our phones and/or laptops.
Be kind to others and most importantly yourself. It costs you absolutely nothing to be gracious when people reach out. We need more kindness in this world. More importantly, don’t beat up on yourself. If you haven’t posted in a while or you haven’t felt inspired, you are not a failure in any way. People still want your unique content. Your work is important and don’t doubt your talent.”
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