NABJ Calls on Media Companies to Take Action on APSE’s Racial & Gender Report Card
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Posted by: Aprill Turner
Newspapers, websites lacking diversity in
Washington, DC (April
29, 2011) --A new survey indicates the number of African-Americans working
as sports editors has dropped nationwide. The National Association of Black
Journalists is calling on media companies to take action after the Associated
Press Sports Editors (APSE) released its latest report card.
This week, APSE released its third Racial and Gender Report Card
on newspaper and online newsrooms. APSE
partners with The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport to conduct the
survey every two years. The 2010 survey shows women and journalists of color
increased as members of the total staffs of all APSE member papers and Web
sites in 2010. However, the number of African-American sports editors has
dropped since the last survey in 2008.
White men continued to lead almost all sports departments as
editors in 2010. The percentage of sports editors who were women or people of
color fell 2.3 percentage points from 11.7 percent in 2008 to 9.42 percent in
2010. White males increased by 3 percentage points for sports editors.
This year’s report shows there were five people of color and
seven women who were sports editors in the largest circulation sized papers,
compared to 2008’s total of nine and two, respectively.
"It is critical that media companies take steps to right the
ship and promote and hire editors of color who can offer a unique perspective
when covering sports and African-American players who dominate the rosters of
the NFL and NBA,” said NABJ President Kathy Y. Times.
Richard Lapchick, the Institute’s director and primary author
of this report noted:
"It is important to have voices from different backgrounds
in the media,” Lapchick said.
Gregory Lee, NABJ Sports Task Force chairman and senior
assistant sports editor at the Boston Globe, said the organization appreciates
that Lapchick and TIDES have continued to underscore concerns in America’s
sports departments. But he added, "It is time for action. It is time to promote
real solutions to the problems at hand during a time of great demographic
changes in our nation.”
According to data collected between October 1, 2010 and
January 25, 2011, there were three African-American male sports editors (down
from six in 2008) at all APSE participating companies. Of the 3,475 APSE newspapers
and Web sites surveyed, not one woman of color held a position as sports editor.
(That changed when Lisa Wilson was promoted as sports editor of the Buffalo
News earlier this month).
"As with the 2008 APSE Report Card, ESPN’s record formed a
substantial part of the totals for sports editors and columnists of color. ESPN
has two African-American sports editors and 23 African-American men and women
as columnists,” Lapchick said.
Other highlights from the report:
of the nation’s sports editors are white. African-Americans make up of
of the nation’s sports columnists are white. African-Americans make up
of the nation’s sports reporters are white. African-Americans make up of
In 2010, the TIDES NFL Report Card reported that blacks
comprised 67% of the players in the league. The NBA Report Card reported 77% of
the players in the game are black. The MLB Report Card reported nine percent of
the players are black and 28 percent are Latino.
NABJ is encouraged that the APSE is continuing its efforts
to support programs such as the Sports Journalism Institute since 1993 in
starting the careers of hundreds of journalists of color and women. However, the
organization believes it is time to start putting more emphasis on training
minorities for management positions, which influences the hiring practices of
these sports departments.
"The key to turning around these numbers in the survey is to
put the onus on those individuals who hire sports editors – the Associated
Press Managing Editors, American Society of Newspaper Editors and executives at
sports media Web sites. They are the gatekeepers in promoting diversity in this
segment of the newsroom,” Lee said.
For the APSE Report, click here.