Christine Brennan will deliver the 2023 Frank Deford Lecture in Sports Journalism. An award-winning national sports columnist for USA Today, Brennan is also a commentator for CNN, ABC News, PBS NewsHour and National Public Radio in addition to a best-selling author. Her address, "Title IX at 50: Past Successes and Future Challenges", will be at 4:30 pm on March 1 in the auditorium of the Dealey Center for New Media (DMC 2.106). The event is open to the public.
Brennan has been named one of the country's top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors multiple times. In March 2020, Brennan was named the winner of the prestigious Red Smith Award, presented annually to a person who has made “major contributions to sports journalism.”
Brennan has covered the last 20 Olympic Games, both summer and winter. She was the first woman sports writer at The Miami Herald in 1981 and the first woman to cover the Washington Football Team as a staff writer at The Washington Post in 1985. She was the first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media and started an internship-scholarship program that has supported 200 female students over the past two decades.
Brennan is the author of seven books. Her 2006 sports memoir, Best Seat in the House, is the only father-daughter memoir written by a sports journalist. Her 1996 national best-seller, Inside Edge, was named one of the top 100 sports books of all-time by Sports Illustrated.
Brennan earned undergraduate and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. She is a member of the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement, Northwestern’s Athletic Hall of Fame and the Washington, D.C., Sports Hall of Fame.
The Frank Deford Lecture in Sports Journalism is hosted annually by the Center for Sports Communication & Media, Deford was one of the most prominent sports journalists of his generation, who left substantial bodies of work in print, radio and television at the time of his death in 2017. Previous lecturers include Howard Bryant, Mina Kimes, Andrea Joyce and Bob Costas.
2022 Jenkins Medal awards ceremony
Jeff Passan and Sally Jenkins were celebrated as the winners of the sixth annual Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting at a ceremony on September 23, 2022 at the Headliner's Club in Austin, TX. Passan won the Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting (of 2021) for his ESPN article “San Francisco Giants Outfield Drew Robinson’s Remarkable Second Act.” Jenkins won for her body of work that has led her to be a columnist for The Washington Post for some 30 years.
The dinner was also an occasion to honor 2019 and 2020 Jenkins Medal winners; Elizabeth Merrill and Mitchell S. Jackson for their Best Sportswriting citations and Rick Telander and the late Roger Angell for their Lifetime Achievement recognitions. Those ceremonies were canceled to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, NFL Hall of Famer Charles “Mean Joe” Greene received the 2022 Jenkins Medal Sports Legend award.
Second Annual Politics in Sports Media report
The Center for Sports Communication & Media (CSCM) is proud to announce its second annual report, “Politics in Sports Media.” This comprehensive study of sports media content in the United States captures a range of audience perceptions and details critical issues in sports media.
The report’s research team includes 11 faculty members and graduate students from the Moody College of Communication. The team was led by Dr. Natalie Brown-Devlin, Dr. Jennifer McClearen, and CSCM director, Dr. Michael L. Butterworth. “Politics in Sports Media” defines “politics” broadly to include references to campaigns, elected officials, and legislation as well as matters of power, resources, and equity. The relationship between sports and politics is neither new nor temporary and CSCM plans to issue this report each January.
Sports communication students from the University of Alabama and the University of Texas met in Austin to collaborate on a number of writing and video projects that documented the activity surrounded the early season game between the two legendary football programs. For 2023, CSCM and the Alabama Program in Sports Communication will facilitate a student exchange for the game in Tuscaloosa.
The Frank Deford Lecture in Sports Journalism
The Center for Sports Communication and Media hosts the Frank Deford Lecture in Sports Journalism every April on the UT-Austin campus to hear leading professionals address the pressing cultural issues of the day. Named after the iconic journalist who left substantial bodies of work in print, radio and television at the time of his death in 2017, the Deford Lecture offers Moody College students access to the leading sports journalists of the day.
The Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting
The Center for Sports Communication and Media hosts the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting as a celebration of the craft and history of sportswriting. Named in honor of the legendary Texan and one of the most accomplished sportwriters of his generation, the Jenkins Medal is awarded annually at a dinner every fall.