Many people have viewed sports news broadcast as the preserve of male journalists; even so with reputable international media networks. However, the few women who have dared venture into the field have done so with aplomb.
Enter ! Ghana Television’s (GTV) alluring female sports newscaster. Not only is she charming, she also brings some refreshment to a sphere of activity that exacts considerable energy in the test of human endurance, which is sports.
For a lady who aspired to become a newsreader right from an early age, finding herself in the television newsroom of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and working alongside some of the role models who shaped her aspirations, including the likes of Beatrice Aidoo, Barbara Gaisie, Francisca Odunton and Loretta Vanderpuije, leaves her very contented.
is in her 30s and is the last of five siblings born in Tema to Mr and Mrs Robert Midley who hail from Cape Coast.
She attended Star Kindergarten Primary School in Tema, for her basic education and continued to the Tema Methodist Day Secondary school but had to leave later for the Prince of Peace Girls Secondary School in Kumasi, where she sat for her GCE, Ordinary Level Certificate.
She attended the Akyem Swedru Secondary School for her sixth form course and from there she enrolled into the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
“I have always loved broadcast journalism and while in sixth form, I decided that reading the news on television was what I wanted to do after school. And so I discussed the issue with an uncle of mine who encouraged me and bought me application forms so I could get into GIJ,” she said.
Upon graduating from GIJ, she found herself posted to two places to undertake her national service, one was in the Upper East Region and the other in the Greater Accra Region. She chose to serve in the Greater Accra Region and luckily got posted to work in the television newsroom of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation where she has been in service for the past nine years, including years of national service and contract work.
“It was tough for me initially. Although I had nurtured the ambition of working at a broadcasting station, I had never had any hands-on experience. But you know, success is attainable when it is supported with a zeal for hard work,” she said beaming with smiles.
Over the years has successfully undertaken different jobs in the TV newsroom with verve. Among programmes she has hosted include the major news bulletins, The Midday News, This Week, News Highlights, Business, Entertainment, Year in Review, Breakfast Show and lately Sports News.
According to her, presenting the sports news comes with its own initial difficulties as she personally could not be described as a sports person. “ Like they say, experience is not gathered in the classroom but in the workplace, as such I had to study what people do and watch Super Sports on MNET to get the names of various sports personalities right,” she said.
Due to the kindness of Deutsche Welle, a German media organisation, Joyce had the opportunity to be in South Africa to cover the World Cup for GBC.:
“The focus was reporting around the tournament. The belief was that there was more to the tournament than presenting the goals, She says.”
“I did a story about a shanty town near one of the tournament centres called Diepslot where residents watched the World Cup on black and white televisions charged by car batteries since they did not have electricity.”
“And there was also this story about mothers who decided to name their babies after football symbols and personalities, including one who named her baby FIFA, so the memory of the first ever World Cup in Africa could be immortalised.”
Operating in the right kind of environment and in the right team spirit has always been the trickiest part of her job, she said.
“It has not always been smooth sailing. She recollects that at one time, just at the last second of presenting the sports news, the news director called to inform her that the tapes for the stories were not ready.
“So while the spot was held up with advertisements, I had to run from the studio to the newsroom some distance away for the tapes, panting for breath on return and for the shots to role with tears in my eyes although not evident for viewers to notice,” she said.
She admits that her worries on that occasion were soon replaced with a happy coincidence when after the news presentation she received a phone call from a colleague, Francisca Odunton, who was then off-duty and at home, commending her for her nice outfit and posture on screen.
In spite of what could be described as the hazards of the job, Joyce says she enjoys working in the newsroom, especially for the kind of relationship that exists among colleagues who always try to find something unique in the other person and help to develop it.
“From the youngest person to the oldest, they have all egged me on,” she said.
In the words of , her career ambitions have advanced.