Allie Davison, a senior majoring in sports journalism, knows about standing out. Being a female in a largely male-dominated industry is not for everyone, but Davison has a passion that she refuses to ignore.
Freshman year at Auburn is typically reserved for getting acclimated to the college environment and cramming for those pesky biology and history tests. This was not the case for Davison. She began working for Auburn Rivals, a sports site dedicated to covering all the recruiting news for football, basketball, and baseball. She did all of this at the age of 18. She has since continued working for Rivals all throughout her college career, and now has an audience of over 8,500 followers on Twitter.
"I honestly wasn't expecting to get involved with Rivals so quickly after high school," Davison said. "I knew I couldn't pass it up, and three years later, I wouldn't change my decision to take a huge risk at only 18 years old."
Although many people would die for the opportunity to gain such valuable experience at a young age, the road has not been an easy one. Being a female covering major D1 collegiate athletics comes with it's fair share of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is facing trolls on social media. "Social media is the easiest place to see the struggles female journalists face in the sports media world," Davison said. "I've spent nights crying from countless mean tweets and comments simply because these people don't realize that I'm human, too."
Unfortunately, many women in the sports industry face stereotypes and aren't looked upon for meaningful analysis. "Females are still looked at like a mouthpiece in the sports media world," Davison said. "We can't have opinions or provide analysis, we just say what we are told while being dolled up on the sidelines."
Although the internet enables people to bully behind a keyboard, the future for female sports journalists is bright and has improved greatly over the last few decades. Female journalists are now beginning to occupy sports desks, are allowed in locker rooms and clubhouses, and are becoming more and more prominent in the sports media world. The road to equality is a slow and delicate one. Davison is fully aware she is nowhere close to where she wants to be, and she is fully ok with that.
"If I've learned one thing so far it's that you can't be in this business if you don't love it," Davison said. "It's not just a career, it's your life."
There are many other girls coming into college now wanting to do the same thing Davison is doing. To these girls, she has one piece of advice. "Don't be afraid," Davison said. "Just take a leap of faith when an opportunity presents itself and hope for the best."
What's next after college for Davison? She's taking it one day at a time. Her ultimate dream job is a big one. "I would love to eventually run the online content for an NHL team or a major news outlet like NBS Sports during Olympic coverage," Davison said. She will continue writing, and letting her passion for sports carry her further into the difficult industry of sports journalism.
For more information on Auburn Rivals visit here.
Also, follow Allie on Twitter here.
(Photo Source: Allie Davison)
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