Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sports editor calls herself to task

A sports editor in Virginia examines the coverage her newspaper provides to girls' and women's sports. She notes that her paper is above the national average (it's at about 11 percent right now) in terms of coverage provided to female athletes but that 32 percent still isn't equal. And, of course, she asks why and tries to offer explanations like there are 5-6 male football players for one female volleyball player. But that one is a little weak given that newspapers cover contests not individual players.
It's good that a sports editor is self-reflective on this issue. Interesting that I have not seen the same type of analysis of the sports page by men who are at the helm of sports pages. And she doesn't really promise things will change, but rather asks readers to comment (you should, if you feel compelled, email her using the above link and give your opinion). And she generally relies on typical excuses: readers want to know about boys' sports, the department is understaffed, etc.
The most ironic comment that came out of this piece was from one of the editor's colleagues, a male sports editor at another local paper, who said:
"Sometimes covering women's sports comes down to manpower."
I'll just let you all interpret the many meanings in that one.

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