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Blog: Why are women reporters shunned?

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By Max Ieuter

I was talking with one of my friends about sports reporters the other day. He was telling me how he doesn’t care for female sports reporters. I asked him if it was because purely because she was a female or if she seemed like she didn’t actually know what she was talking about. His response got me to start thinking about gender diversity in sports reporting.

He told me that it wasn’t necessarily that she didn’t know what she was talking about, but rather just having a feminine presence for a sport made it seem like she wasn’t as knowledgeable as she probably is.

It got me to start thinking back to my story package about men’s and women’s basketball. What is the psychological reasoning behind the general preference for a male presence in sports, whether it’s reporting or the competition itself?

My thoughts dance around the idea that sport and competition is a typically masculine aspect of life and society. So, it seems that people normally associate sport with man.

However, with the increase of female presence in sports the past 30 years, from basketball to the anchor desk, there are plenty of people who are enjoying the different aspects the diversity brings. A prime example is how people believe women’s basketball to be an entirely different sport than men’s. Although, the rules and objectives are almost identical, the way the game is played is totally different. But can the same be said for journalism and reporting?

Well, it can be said that each reporter has their own style of reporting, and I suppose, just like basketball, a reporter can tell the story any way they would like, as long as it gives them the final result of a complete message sent to the viewers; all within the rules and ethical boundaries, of course. So then the question that beckons: Is it just preference, or is society still used to having a dominant male presence in sports and sports reporting so that there is still hesitation in some cases to truly accept a good female reporter or athlete?

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