Women's Sport: One question every female sports presenter has been asked - "Do you even like sport?"

Doris Burke

This is one question female sports reporters encounter daily and one that fills many of us with anger, but reading ABC's recent article, I now know I am not the only one.

It's about time we female sports reporters took a stand against the inequality we face in the industry and quiz every male reporter about every sport under the sun and wait for them to trip up. Now that doesn't seem fair to me but I am at a loss of which direction to take next for fear that I will be discredited as a damn good sports journalist because I do not know the first thing about football or cricket. 

My sport is and always will be basketball. I am blessed to be part of the NBA team here at GiveMeSport and a frequent contributor to the Women's division under the direction of a pioneer in our field, Ms Benny Bonsu.

However, we are constantly faced with adversity because we can simply not be considered sports reporters if we specialise in one sport or choose to focus our resources on women. But recently I have seen that we are the frontrunners in our industry and are slowly breaking down the barriers of inequality within reporting to gain recognition as women in a very competitive field.

Really, we don't have a choice because, previously, women in sports have been pushed to the sidelines by their male counterparts who may write an exciting feature on a woman every once in a while, but for the most part stick to what they know best, male athletes. I am disgusted and quite frankly fed-up with hearing female reporters are "the first in their field or newsroom", this hurdle should have been jumped a long time ago, not made increasingly difficult.

We are in the era of #MeToo and female empowerment. Reading ABC's article and learning of women being refused interviews because of their gender or being physically assaulted due to a controversial publication, I am sickened by the world of sports we are trying to leave behind.
The most laughable factor is that we are not asking for special treatment, all we want is equality and the chance for our work to be judged on its merit, not the appearance of its author.

At a recent fellowship with the US State Department, a journalist from Malaysia shared her story. On her first day, her male colleagues placed bets on how long she would last, the longest being 12 months, she has been at the newspaper for 22 years now and aims to be there for many more years to come. Let that be a lesson to all men out there who don't think us women are capable of writing for or maintaining a job at a sports media outlet.

I am proud to say that I cover a male-dominated sport in a man's world but am lucky enough to witness more women breaking through the barriers to receiving recognition as incredible journalists, photographers, and reporters.

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