Coming off a two-loss week of college basketball should be kind of depressing. Being a Kentucky fan, I’m not really used to a losing streak, no matter how small. An upset loss to Tennessee in Knoxville and a loss at home to a very talented Kansas team have left a bad taste in my mouth.
But. With all that, I’m still very excited to be coming back here and creating something special.
Just about any Kentucky fan out there can tell you who the number one sports outlet is in the state. Honestly, it’s not even close. Even though I work a 9-5 Monday-Friday job, you’ll catch me with earbuds in from 9-11 am listening to their radio show. If I can’t catch it live, I’ll listen to the podcast as soon as I can. Their radio show has topped the ratings in the state for as long as I can remember. The station’s website gets tons of hits and their social media presence is impressive, to say the least. I’m talking about Kentucky Sports Radio, or KSR as they’ve come to be known across the bluegrass.
I especially keep a sharp eye out for content that comes from one of the females on the staff, Tyler Thompson. If her articles aren’t enough to win you over, just reading her byline will make you instantly love her.
As you’ll find out, Tyler Thompson worked her way up the ladder from part time positions to the full-time news editor for KSR. I’ve always seen Tyler as an inspiration to myself, trying to get my foot in the door of the journalism world. I reached out to Tyler and she was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me. When you’re finished here, please go show Tyler Thompson some love on Twitter. She can be found at @MrsTylerKSR.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about how you came to work for KSR?
A: I actually wanted to be a sports journalist growing up, but decided to take a different route with my writing in college; after I graduated (Davidson College), I moved to Nashville and became a copy editor. Of course, as a native Kentuckian, I remained a huge Kentucky fan and KentuckySportsRadio.com was my lifeline to the BBN.
In 2008, the site held its first “Who Wants to be a Blogger” contest to find new writers. I decided to try it just for fun. I made it into the contest and finished third, but I had so much fun with it I started my own blog (the now defunct Real Girls Watch Sports). A few years later, Matt Jones asked me to come back to the site to write part time. After moving up the ladder via various part-time positions, I came on board as the full-time news editor in December 2012.
Q: As a female in what might be perceived as a “male” sports world, do you feel a need to step up your game to fit in? Is there a sense of equality?
A: I like to think people value my perspective not just because I’m a woman, but because I’m a fan of the team I’m covering as well. Thankfully, in the past five years, we’ve seen an influx of women writers in the sports industry. More than ever, I feel fans appreciate having so many perspectives. As I’ve grown into my role at KSR, I’d like to think that people think of me less as “the token girl writer” and respect my opinion on its own, without gender.
Q: Do you have any advice for other females looking to pursue a job in sports journalism?
A: Be yourself and stick to your principles. Too often, women get in the industry and feel pressured to be something they’re not. What’s the point of sharing your point of view if it’s not really yours?
Q: What female in the sports world do you look up to the most?
A: We’re really blessed to have so many women doing great things in the industry right now. Doris Burke will always be one of my biggest role models because she’s so knowledgeable about sports and so classy. I’m also a big admirer of Kara Lawson, who gave me the best bit of advice I’ve received. She said that she never tries to prove her haters wrong, but rather, she tries to prove the people who believe in her right. I also love Shannon Spake, who has been wonderful to me. And I really admire Sarah Spain and Katie Nolan, two women who are doing what they love in their own way, which is really the goal.
Q: How do you feel social media has affected your work?
A: Social media definitely makes my job easier on an informational level; it’s easier than ever to get info, as long as you know and trust the source/account it comes from. However, I’d be lying if I said it made my life easier. Social media is great, but it’s also become the preferred platform for misogynistic jerks who have no problem attacking a woman behind an anonymous screen name, but would never have the guts to say anything to her face. Dealing with that is an ongoing battle for me. For the most part, I ignore the trolls — who would never be happy with anything I do simply because I’m a woman — but occasionally, I can’t help but put them on blast.
Tyler Thompson always brings it when it comes to sports news with a little dash of sass. It’s easy to see why she’s one of my favorites. I want to thank Tyler for taking some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for us. I know that I look up to here even more now than before. She’s down to earth, strong-willed, and is always doing what she can to help others. I’d say she’s a shining example of what we here at Sprots Takes try to be every day.
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