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In Sports Blogs

Trenni Kusnierek's job with FSN Wisconsin is similar to Erin Andrews' ESPN gig.

A female journalist's take on the Erin Andrews story


For female sports reporters like FSN Wisconsin's Trenni Kusnierek, the story regarding ESPN's Erin Andrews is a bit of a slippery subject.

The sports media workplace is a competitive field, and many women feel extra pressure to prove that they are capable, competent and not "another pretty face." In analyzing their colleagues, however, they have to be careful to avoid charges of jealousy and pettiness.

In the wake of the Andrews stories this week, we e-mailed Kusnierek, an occasional OnMilwaukee.com contributor, for her thoughts.

"This is obviously a touchy subject... but I'll do my best to be diplomatic," Kusnierek wrote. "I understand that Erin Andrews isn't considered a "journalist" so the same rules that apply to writers and television reporters, do not apply to her. She (and ESPN remote game crews in general) gets better access to players and managers and the story lines Erin follows are often very different from what (Journal Sentinel beat writers) Tom Haudricourt or Anthony Witrado are going to write.

"With that said, I still think reporters should hold themselves to the highest professional standard. I found her dress to be inappropriate for the workplace. Even some Brewers players said that although she's great to look at, the dress wasn't appropriate for the ballpark.

"When the talk of the day is not the game, but how high a hemline is, that is a problem. I realize that part of our job as female reporters is to look good. I'm not an idiot and I know our gender is part of the reason we're employed. With that said, we should never become the story of the day.

"I (and Jen Lada) wear skirts and sundresses to the park all the time, but both of us have a pretty simple rule that the outfit should always hit no higher than an inch or two above the knee. If I would wear it to a party, it's not appropriate for work.

"As for Mike Nadel's column, it was refreshing to see someone hold her accountable instead of ogling her in print. It was obvious by the comments made by Lou Piniella and Cubs players that the outfit and behavior were unacceptable.

"And I know what all the guys out there are going to say, 'Trenni is just being catty because she's jealous.' Trust me when I say I'm not. Erin is a beautiful girl with a body I'd kill for. I know she's hotter than me. But, she'd still be better looking in a professional outfit, not just in glorified lingerie. As a female in the same business, I wish she'd realize how damaging it is to an entire gender when she carries herself in that manner. It sets us all back to a time where female sports reporters were all seen as husband hunters who were only in the business to catch a cheap glance.

"I think this market with me, Jen, Jessie Garcia (of Channel 4) and Stephanie Sutton (Channel 12) proves that theory wrong, but stories like these mean we all have to work harder to regain that trust."


Talkbacks

gmwrobel | Jan. 5, 2009 at 8:26 a.m. (report)

it isn't something we should have to get used to. the way a person looks doesn't determine how good their journalistic skills are. with the majority of the population over weight, it might be nice to see someone that can carry on a conversation with the person they're interviewing without showing a little leg. I know that will never happen but it's a sad state of affairs that our world bases a person's proficiencies on their looks.

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steele81111 | Nov. 1, 2008 at 7:54 p.m. (report)

Ok its easy to see that there is a jealousy factor here. Just because Erin Andrews is good looking she all of a sudden has no journalism skills. This is obviously an attempt by unsuccessful female journalism majors across the nation who can't cut it. Well sorry to all these sore losers. This is how it goes. When you're in front of a camera you need to not only be qualified but you need to be good looking. If you're not both then you won't make it. Sorry to let you know this but that's how it goes. Get used to it.

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gymdawg | Aug. 6, 2008 at 12:44 p.m. (report)

Milltown Katie: Don't be ridiculous. Men don't get called on what they wear because they usually don't wear provocative clothing (for example, a muscle shirt) in professional situations. If they did, they'd darn sure hear about it. It is an INDIVIDUAL'S responsibility to dress professionally if he or she wants to be taken seriously.

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sandstorm | Aug. 6, 2008 at 9:29 a.m. (report)

TMorrison, I thought the same thing of Erin Brockovich.

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TMorrison | Aug. 6, 2008 at 4:22 a.m. (report)

Perhaps there shouldn't have been several articles written about the subject, but I hardly think it misogynistic to request business-appropriate wear and actions from people who are involved in any sort of job, reporter or otherwise. If I wore an outfit like that to my job (teaching), I'd be reprimanded. If I flirted with my students, I'd be fired. People these days don't seem to realize that showing all your assets doesn't respect yourself, and it doesn't respect your line of work, regardless of what your line of work is. It just makes you look trashy.

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