From the archive: Reporting on a women’s sport game-changer
An Indian journalist in Australia for a mentorship to cover the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup reflects on her experience of a milestone moment for women’s sport.
By Rica Roy
First published March 2020.
I had arrived in Australia with an open mind, with the idea of learning, exploring and expanding my horizons.
I was able to tick all the boxes during my 20-day stay; covering the ICC Women's T20 World Cup for Indian broadcaster NDTV, explore podcasting and train to become a trainer.
It was made possible through the Women in News and Sport (WINS) program, which is run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's International Development team and funded by the Australian Government.
Discovering podcasting and starting my own podcast show have been on my agenda for a few years, but in the busy schedule of the newsroom I never had the chance to gather my thoughts or apply for courses.
This mentorship opportunity made me realise how important it is for working journalists like me to sometimes get away from the frenzy of breaking news and go through the "unlearning-relearning" process.
In Sydney I had the opportunity to interact with the iconic Ita Buttrose, a trailblazer in Australian media and Chair of the ABC.
I also learnt about the 50:50 project that ABC journalist Amanda Shalala is spearheading in ABC Sport trying to bring in more women’s voices and strike a gender balance in sport coverage.
An unexpected highlight at the ABC headquarters was seeing the legendary Jim Maxwell's personal archive collection which consisted of sport magazines from 1969, to jumpers and caps from another era (a deep dive into sport nostalgia)!
But the best part was recording a show with Mary Konstantopoulos and Brittany Carter on the ABC cricket podcast Ladies Who Legspin. This show was all about the T20 World Cup - girls have a lot of fun talking about the game we all love, and it allowed us to strike an instant rapport.
Then it was off to Melbourne where I entered the inner sanctum of Outer Sanctum.
This podcast rolls through the AFL season, and even though I do not follow much AFL, I enjoyed every bit of it.
They even sat me down and interviewed me for a no holds barred conversation on women's sport in India.
Next on the schedule was another sport podcast called Sporty - host Amanda Smith gave insight into designing a podcast, preparing content and thinking about the audience.
As a TV journalist it was so useful to learn about playing with sound in the absence of pictures.
Mike Williams, an audio documentary producer, gave me the best suggestions on how to maximise my potential as a journalist in the podcasting world and as I start the next phase of my career.
Other key takeaways on podcasting were; how to simplify ideas and work with the best ones, structuring the content, recording audio, producing audio, finding new audiences and tapping revenue streams.
In between broadcasting live TV crosses back to India for my sports show during the cricket, I also had the chance of watching ABC TV Breakfast News go to air with Paul Kennedy and the team.
Paul does the role that I do with NDTV and his insights on presenting sports and how to keep audience coming to sports were my big takeaways.
As well as forging new friendships I have revisited old ones.
I have always considered ABC broadcaster Tracey Holmes to be a guru, super woman and a powerful voice of sport in Australia.
Even back home I do not miss out on hearing The Ticket and the time with Tracey and her husband Stan Grant was invaluable.
One of the most significant takeaways were the modules that WINS Program Manager and Trainer Karen Shrosbery gave me to start two exciting journeys; podcasting and training others.
I will now take all the tools to conduct training on behalf of WINS in India and I would very much like to help my fellow female professionals to grow and prosper in their space.
In fact, there have been so many takeaways from this trip, including the 'flat whites' I loved drinking and all the sushi I devoured!