By Pamela C. Laucella (IUPUI), Marie Hardin (Penn State), Steve Bien-Aimé (Penn State), and Dunja Antunovic (Bradley University)
Published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
This study surveyed sports editors about gender-related issues in hiring and coverage. Although many editors estimate reader interest to be low and do not believe coverage of women’s sports should be improved, results also suggest that sports editors’ values and beliefs have shifted over the past decade in ways that could lead to more opportunities for women journalists and to eventual improvements in coverage of female athletes and women’s sports. The research also suggests when sports editors commit to hiring women, they find women who can move up within organizations and become leaders.
sports editors, gender, hiring, coverage, gatekeeping, Title IX
In an article for Sports Illustrated, Senior Editor Richard Deitsch (2015) asked a panel of female sports journalists to assess the barriers that women face in the sports media industry. Francesca Weems, a sports anchor and reporter, commented on the lack of women in play-by-play, and added the following insight:
I also do not come into contact with many female sports directors, news directors or general managers. So outside of the more visible roles, women do not make up many of the key management positions. I think as more women begin to take on more leadership roles in the sports media industry we will begin to see changes at all levels of operation.
This testament reflects larger national trends in the sports journalism industry and beyond, from both historical and contemporary perspectives.