Earlier this WNBA season I was working as media for a game. I quickly saw that two of my reporter colleagues seemed not to know anything about women’s basketball. And they were from two of the bigger news organizations represented. We were in a press conference and one of the guys acknowledged it when asked if he had any questions.
“Just listening and learning,” he said with a smile. And he had no questions.
The other guy didn’t know who Donna Orender is.
I, on the other hand, knew the history of both teams playing that night, the players, the play-by-play people and the fans. So did another female reporter. A couple other (male) reporters from smaller news organizations seemed to possess some knowledge, and sitting at the press table with a local sports radio host was fun for me, because he knew about all the Sparks players from 1997 to the present day.
This isn’t an uncommon scenario, because women’s sports don’t usually get covered by big news organizations. They send whomever is available, and that person usually goes without doing any kind of research first.
In the meantime, small-time operations and bloggers like myself can sit there rattling off history and statistics like a book. The whole thing is pretty ironic, because guess who makes more money working those games? Not the little guys.
I think Big News should hire some bloggers to do reporting instead of sending ignorant representatives. People with love for, knowledge of and passion for the game would write much higher-quality stories. The unknowledgeable, bored reporters could go write about something else, and the women’s hoops bloggers could do what they love, reporter-style.
Lovers of the game know how much fun it is to meet someone else who they can “speak” women’s basketball with. Those are the people who should be writing game stories. Sports reporters have been writing about men’s teams with knowledge and passion for a long time. Women’s basketball deserves the same treatment.