Friday, August 11, 2006

Postscript on sports dept. demographics

It occurred to me as I was looking through the columns that appeared after the APSE study was published in June -- all I've seen focus on the lack of minority journalists in newspaper sports departments. What is curious about that is that the low numbers of minority sports journalists mirror the rest of the newsroom. In other words -- the lack of minorities in sports departments is part of a newsroom-wide problem.
What surprises me is the lack of attention the news about women in sports departments has generally received. Women in sports departments are outnumbered 3-to-1 by women in other parts of the newsroom. In other words, the big problem in sports -- uniquely -- is the lack of women.
I can't help but think that the uproar over the lack of minorities and the silence about the lack of women plays into invisible (but ubiquitous) stereotypes: minorities "naturally" belong in sports, and women don't.

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