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Vol. 43, No. 3, Summer 2015

Women See Lack of Respect, Parity in Sports Coverage

Tennis champion Serena Williams continued to dazzle the sports world this summer with her amazing play, scorching the court at Wimbledon on her way to next month’s U.S. Open. However, coverage of this tennis great has a nasty undercurrent of racism and sexism, with her prowess regarded as unusual, even unnatural, for a woman. Added to this bias about desirable body type for athletes is the continuing paltry amount of coverage female athletes receive. The imbalance of resources devoted to covering men and women isn’t new, but it is actually worse than ever, according to a new study by researchers Michael A. Messner and Michela Musto of the University of Southern California, and Cheryl Cooky of Purdue University. They found that coverage of women’s sports has barely budged in a quarter century, despite dramatic increases in the number of girls and women playing youth, high school, college and professional sports. The survey of Los Angeles broadcast affiliates and ESPN’s SportsCenter reveals that coverage is actually less than it has been in the past. The study report is here: http://com.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/06/05/2167479515588761.abstract

Social Media Editor Jobs: Female Ghetto?

Social media editor positions at news outlets can be a path to more influential roles in the organization or an anxiety-producing dead end, writes Alana Hope Levinson in Medium. Social media is one of the few areas of the news industry where women outnumber men in leadership positions, Levinson says. Her excellent, anecdote-rich report is here: https://medium.com/matter/the-pink-ghetto-of-social-media-39bf7f2fdbe1

Women’s Media Center 2015 Research: ‘Inequality’ Defines Media

The Women’s Media Center (WMC) in June released its yearly report on the status of women in U.S. media. The report is based on new and original research that finds that the media landscape is still dominated by male voices and male perspectives. Taken together, the 49 studies are a snapshot of women in media platforms as diverse as news, literature, broadcast, film, television, radio, online, tech, gaming, and social media. “Inequality defines our media,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center. The full report is here: http://wmc.3cdn.net/83bf6082a319460eb1_hsrm680x2.pdf

Kopenhaver Center Sponsors Study of Women in Communication Leadership

Communication academics working with the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at Florida International University met in San Francisco in August to lay our plans for a comprehensive and comparative study in 2015 of the role women play across the major communication professions in the U.S. The Kopenhaver Center believes will be the first research study to assess simultaneously the role and status of women across all major communication and journalism professions. The Kopenhaver Center plans to develop a survey, based on the findings of this secondary research, to be administered in 2015 to professionals in all of those industries.

Research in Depth - Newspaper Fashion Journalism: The Province of Savvy Women Covering a Powerful Industry by Kimberly Wilmot Voss

Research in Depth - Slutwalk, Feminism and News by Kaitlynn Mendes

Commentary - ABC Summer Series “Astronaut Wives Club”: Not Enough of the Right Stuff by Tina Pieraccini

Commentary - Violence and the Women Who Cover It by Carolyn M. Byerly

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