'Make me famous b----': Journalist abused at court in Ballarat

Nine News journalist Maggie Raworth was abused by a member of the public outside Ballarat Court. Photo: Nathanael Cooper.
Nine News journalist Maggie Raworth was abused by a member of the public outside Ballarat Court. Photo: Nathanael Cooper.

UPDATED: The Nine News reporter who was the victim of a vicious tirade from a member of the public on the street in Ballarat says she decided to take a stand for journalism on the spot.

Maggie Raworth says she wasn’t offended personally, despite the man’s aggressive posture and language.

“It’s just the constant frustration – you hear it from people all the time about what we do (as journalists).

“I was just sick and tired of hearing that. He was so angry, it was like ‘here we go again, another time.’”

Ms Raworth was outside the Ballarat Court on Monday when the man approached her, shouting abuse.

The man, wearing a flannelette shirt, sunglasses and beanie, approached Ms Raworth holding up some kind of pinkie ring and boasting about how much money he makes.

"I make ten times the f---ing money you do," he said.

"Get a real job, both o' youse (sic), f---ing journos, lowest of the lows."

Ms Raworth inquired as to what the gentleman's issue was, and his expletive-laden tirade continued.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW (WARNING COARSE LANGUAGE)

"You chose to be a journalist, there's a million and one jobs out there and you chose to be lying pieces of shit."

As Ms Raworth calmly photographed, the man moved from his searing assessment of the industry onto some career advice for her.

"Give it five years and you'll be out of a job, all wrinkled up and shit. You're already getting fat 'n that, so f--- you ain't got much time left," he suggested.

The work of journalists is too important to be cheapened by ignorant and vicious abuse, says Ms Raworth.

“I feel that people need to look around and imagine a world without media,” she says.

“Look at some of the stories that come out every day; look at the amazing things that are exposed because of the good work journos are doing. I’m not saying I’m one of them; I’m standing up for my profession.”

Finding the situation simultaneously threatening and strangely amusing, Ms Raworth then turned the camera on her assailant.

She says she felt physically in danger, because she was not sure what he might do. The man then continued to abuse the journalist.

"Enjoy your life guys," he said.

"Yeah, film me, bitch. Film me, bitch... make me famous bitch."

It is unclear what prompted the man to approach the journalist. Photo: Nathanael Cooper.

It is unclear what prompted the man to approach the journalist. Photo: Nathanael Cooper.

Ms Raworth helped him out in that final regard by posting the video to Facebook where it has since been watched more than 12,000 times.

The man then decided to drive up and down outside the law courts, yelling abuse, before driving off.

“They were all about my weight,” says Ms Raworth.

“I didn’t understand if he was more angry about my weight or my job. But it certainly didn’t stop.”

Speaking to NewsCorp, Ms Raworth said journalists were often the subject of abuse when they are on the job.

"It happens all the time, every TV journalist can say that happens to them almost on a daily basis. I get yelled at from cars all the time; it's just part of the job," she said.

Ballarat police are investigating the incident.