Thursday, June 26, 2008

Narrow path for female SIDs

Next week, members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (COSIDA) will meet in Tampa for the organization's annual convention. On the agenda is research by the Center for Sports Journalism that shows the disparities between men and women in employment and promotion -- women are only about a tenth the industry, and far fewer women reach the top ranks.
Focus groups with female SIDs show that discrimination and sexism are still a problem and that old-school ideas about women and sports can keep women from opportunities they deserve ("Sometimes I just want to wear my resume on my shirt just to say I am qualified," said one SID). Challenges in reconciling work and family obligations are a big reason women decide to leave the profession.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Female writers in the sports blogosphere

Blogger Andrea Reiher was interviewed for AOL Fanhouse about sexism in the sports blogosphere -- an interesting choice, considering that Reiher's blogs, including Ladies..., strike me as less-than-progressive when it comes to women, men and sports. In a full version of the interview, Reiher argues that there should be more women writing for the most popular blog sites, such as Deadspin. She is right -- few female writers are featured on these sites. But as I mentioned, I'm not sure Reiher and others bring a particularly different view to sports. And many of them do not want to.
I'm not saying that women shouldn't be given equal opportunity to contribute to the blogosphere. It's too bad, though, that they might simply provide more of the same -- discourse that reinforces sexism in sports and sports talk.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The erosion of diversity

Experienced journalists with institutional memories and expertise aren't the only sacrifice as newspaper sports operations continue to cut and consolidate. Former USA Today deputy sports editor Julie Ward, in an interview to be published in the next issue of International Journal of Sport Communication, wonders if diversity is part of price. A number of women, including Ward, and minorities in sports journalism have left newsrooms in recent months. It will be interesting to see how demographics change at APSE-member papers, many of which have seen their sports operations shrink over the past year. The organization's national meeting is next week.