An Unleveled playing field

It’s ironic to know that the modern game in a sports journalist’s career is the competition they face. The struggle for dominance in the industry is increasing as well as the will to be taken seriously. Journalism students from the University of Wollongong willingly share their passions and fears of joining the industry.

First-year journalism student, Mia Lorfino’s eyes widen at the opportunity to share her interests in sports journalism “It was never becoming a ballerina for me. I loved to watch NRL, tennis and soccer. And by 2012 I had an Australian tennis ranking of 743 – it was hard, but I got there”

Sport being a big part of these student’s lives, Luke Simon supported his craving to play, watch and talk about sport “Sport has been a big part of my life. NBA always intrigued me, but the only way to stay connected was through articles and interviews. And all I could think each time I read them was, ‘I’d love to do this’” he laughed.

The silence later became deafening at the possibility of not getting into the industry that sparked the interest of these aspiring journalists. “There is always a fear that you end up at plan E, and by that time it’s probably something you don’t want to do” Jesse Godfrey expressed his uncertainness as he gazed his eyes downwards.

“I’d be pretty down in the dumps if I ever had to resort to my plan E” utters Luke.

“I don’t have a plan b, I’m determined to succeed.” Birthe Skingen says.

Sports journalism is a clear industry that is conquered by males, which has caused fear in female wannabe journalists. Their expectations of stepping up their game have risen, much like the high levels of testosterone in the industry.

Mia Lorfino voices her concerns over the lack of female sports journalists;

 “I think this idea of women staying classy rather than getting their hands dirty and playing is what is making employers reluctant to have female sports journalists”

With this being a growing concern for young journalists; is this the reason there is hardly any females in the sporting world? or is it just another excuse for females to stay indoors.

Adding to the fear of being undermined by their passion, Birthe says, “A female is dangerous when she’s competitive. Goodluck to any male who steps on her game”. For these two first year female students, their fears of equality in sports journalism has instead acted as motivation which portrays their dedication and true cravings for becoming the best in a workforce that is all about defeating one another

“I had to quit playing for studying. But studying is what will keep me in the game. And so here I am; in a race to write the best instead of hitting the hardest. And my court…is Fox Sports” Mia Lorfino finishes.

These four Wollongong students are clear examples of hard, passionate and competitive people who are willing to play a game of catch me if you can with an industry full of cats and mice


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