From The Playing Field to The Chronicle: On the Record with Jenny Dial Creech

From+behind+her+podium%2C+sports+journalist+Jenny+Dial+Creech+speaks+to+aspiring+student+journalists+about+her+experiences+in+the+field.+

James Ricks

From behind her podium, sports journalist Jenny Dial Creech speaks to aspiring student journalists about her experiences in the field.

Lauren Washington, Reporter

With all of the terminology, players, and controversy that surrounds professional sports, it can be a daunting thing for a reporter to cover—especially for a female. Houston Chronicle sports columnist Jenny Dial Creech is more than up to the challenge. In fact, Creech is one of the four female sports columnists in the United States today. On September 27th, Creech gave a press conference to student journalists at Jersey Village High School detailing her experiences in the industry.

Creech was born and raised in San Antonio, where she first developed her passion for sports. 

“We always had a ‘sports thing’ going on in our house,” Creech said. “It was what my dad and I talked about. The relationship we had sort of revolved around that, and it’s really special to me.”

In addition to her sports upbringing, San Antonio was where Creech built her foundations in news writing as an editor for her school’s yearbook.

“I loved being on the yearbook staff [in my old high school],” Creech said. “We had a really good yearbook when I went to school. We would win all the big national [awards].”

As a sports columnist, Creech was given a luxury not afforded to most reporters; Creech is allowed to give her opinion in the stories that she writes. This freedom, however, comes with its share of downsides.

“[After writing a story on sexual assault at Baylor] I was in a restaurant with my husband one night, and a Baylor [alumni] came up to us,” Creech said. “He was screaming at me, and calling me a whore, in a nice restaurant. All because I had “slandered” the [coach], who was a saint [in his eyes].”

There are also a number of downsides that come with being a female in the male-dominated industry of sports journalism.

“I’m very proud to be a female doing what I’m doing, but you’re not given any special favors. There’s still a stigma [surrounding female reporters] that we don’t know as much as our male counterparts. [You get] hit on by athletes who are used to being able to do whatever they want, whenever they want. You have to deal with a lot of uncomfortable locker room conversations.”

Most sports reporters center their focus on the world of pro sports, but Creech also has a love for sports at the high school level.

“At the high school level, I just really like how kids feel about the sport they’re playing,” Creech said. “They are there because they want to do it. I played sports in high school, and that feeling goes away by college. It especially isn’t there with professional sports, because it’s a business.”

Despite all of the difficulties she has faced due to her occupation, Creech feels that it is important for females to be represented in the news industry.

“There are a lot of situations where I’m the only female in the room,” Creech said. “I feel very strongly about speaking up, because I feel like I have to represent all of us that are afraid to. I think that’s an advantage [of being a female reporter].”