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One thing lacking at March Madness? Sports reporters of color.

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While any number of athletes on the field and court are black, when it comes to reporters covering the action, most are white and male.

The NCAA basketball tournament is one of the most-viewed sporting events in the United States. A few years ago at the annual Big 12 basketball preview meetings in Kansas City, the issue of who covers the games arose, specifically the lack of sports journalists of color covering college basketball.

The irony of that is that many of the players on the court are people of color, but people of color aren’t the ones covering the event.

Kennetra Pulliam, a Kansas City-based freelance reporter who has been in the industry for more than 20 years, says not much has changed.

"It's not just the lack of black men or men of color, lets take it a step further and go black females."

Having diverse reporters has benefits for the sport and players. It affords the opportunity for different people to tell different stories from different angles.

Kris Gardner, owner and reporter for the Houston Roundball Review said "Some players have a connection with someone who looks like them and they open up more to them about a certain topic."

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at reginalddavid@kcur.org.