2014 APSE Scorecard: The Race/Gender Report Card

By
Updated: July 14, 2015

 

2014 APSE Report Card Released

BASN WIRE SERVICES

 

Orlando, FL…May 10, 2015 – The fifth bi-annual edition of the Associated Press Sports Editors Racial and Gender Report Card, which evaluated over 100 newspapers and websites, was released today. This study is intended to measure the changes in racial and gender hiring practices from the 2012 study. The 2014 Report was published by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida and was requested by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE). This was the fifth time the APSE requested that TIDES review the data related to its current staff and employment practices.

 

For 2014, the grade for racial hiring practices for APSE newspapers and websites was a C+, which was the same grade as in the 2012 study. The APSE newspapers and websites received the fourth consecutive F for gender hiring practices. Grades were not issued for the 2006 Report Card. The combined grade for 2014 was a D, the lowest of all the reports issued by TIDES

 

Richard Lapchick, the Director of the Institute and primary author of this report, noted, “It has now been eight years since the publication of the 2006 Report. While there was some change in the five key positions we examined for race, there continued to be a failing grade for gender in all five categories. I applaud the APSE for it transparency and its determination to get better.

 

Nonetheless, it remains important to have voices from different backgrounds in the media. This report shows that in 2014, 91.5 percent of the sports editors, 90.2 percent of the assistant sports editors, 83.5 percent of our columnists, 85 percent of our reporters and 83.3 percent of our copy editors/designers were white. In the 2012 report, those numbers for the same positions were 90.9, 86.6, 83.9, 86.3, and 86 respectively.

 

The percentages of males in those positions this year are 90.1, 90.2, 87.6, 87.4, and 80.8. In 2012, the percentages were 90.4, 82.8, 90.2, 88.3, and 80.4, respectively.”

 

The 2012 report showed a terrible lack of opportunity for people of color. In 2014, there was an increase in opportunities for people of color as copy editors (from 14 percent to 16.7 percent), and slight increases for reporters (13.7 percent to 15 percent), and columnists (16.1 percent to 16.5 percent). There was also an increase for women as reporters (from 11.7 percent to 12.7 percent), sports editors (from 9.6 to 9.9), and women columnists (from 9.7 percent to 12.4 percent). There was a large decrease in women assistant sports editors (from 17.2 to 9.8 percent) and a slight decline for copy editors/designers (from 19.6 to 19.2 percent).

 

The most positive news was that the percentage of columnists who were women and people of color increased by 2.5 percentage points from 25.3 percent in 2012 to 27.8 percent in 2014.. Reporters increased as well. The percentage of women and people of color who held reporter positions increased by 1.9 percentage points from 23.9 percent in 2012 to 25.8 percent in 2014.

 

Lapchick noted that “ESPN has been a leader in the hiring of women and people of color in key positions. Of the 16 people of color who are sports editors at this level, seven work for ESPN. If the ESPN sports editors of color were removed, the percentage of sports editors of color would drop from 11.7 percent to 6.9 percent. Of the 11 women who were sports editors at this level, seven worked for ESPN. If the ESPN sports editors who are women were removed, the percentage of female sports editors would drop from eight percent to 3.1 percent.

 

Of the 48 men of color who were columnists at “A” newspapers and websites, 41 worked for ESPN. If the ESPN male columnists who are people of color were removed, the percentage of male columnists of color would drop from 17.5 percent to 3 percent. Of the 37 women who were columnists at this level, 32 worked for ESPN. If the ESPN female columnists who are women were removed, the percentage of female columnists would drop from 13.5 percent to 2.1 percent.”

 

It is understood that the size of America’s newspapers has been shrinking for the past several years. One of the few organizations that has been able to increase its hires has been ESPN.

 

Lapchick added that “My primary recommendation to the APSE remains that it adopts a Ralph Wiley Rule, named after the late African-American writer. The Wiley Rule would be like the Rooney Rule in the NFL and would call for a diverse pool of candidates including people of color and women for each opening of these key positions. According to John Cherwa, many of the individual newspapers have adopted such a rule.”

 

The APSE, an organization comprised of the sports sections of newspapers and online media sources in the United States and Canada, reported data specific to sports editors, assistant sports editors, columnists, reporters and copy editors and designers. The study evaluated data for 1,726 individuals employed within these five positions. The data collected for this study was then analyzed by separating the newspapers by circulation size and totals by race, gender, and position.

 

Lapchick has been publishing Racial and Gender Report Cards on the NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA, MLS, and college sport for over two decades.

 

John Cherwa, who is an editor at the Los Angeles Times and serves as the Advisor for this study, said, “The ongoing lack of improvement continues to be both puzzling and unsettling. You have to ask, ‘What are we doing wrong?’ I wish I knew the answer. It’s certainly not because we don’t care. At the LA Times we have a program called Metpro, which is designed specifically to build diversity in the newsroom. In the last five years, only one person spent a few weeks in the sports department, and that’s because the interest of the participants is always in other types or forms of journalism.

 

I don’t think there is a magic bullet and maybe incremental progress is the best we can achieve right now. I hope we can do better than that, but we’ll continue to look for a solution, even as the number of jobs continues to shrink.”

 

““The report card is disappointing and shows how far we have to go,” said Mike Sherman, APSE president and sports editor of The Oklahoman. “It’s imperative that APSE continue to encourage and assist member organizations as they strive to build staffs that reflect the growing diversity of our communities.

 

It’s also important to recognize what is working. This summer, Mary Byrne of ESPN will become APSE’s first woman president since Sandra Rosenbush in 1993.

 

For the last three years, APSE’s Diversity Fellows program, started by former APSE president Michael Anastasi, has an in-depth, nine-month program for mid-career minority and women journalists interested in pursuing a career in management. I can attest to the benefits of this program: Erik Horne, a member of the Diversity Fellows class of 2014, is our NewsOK Sports editor.

 

As an organization and APSE members, we must continue to support, expand and plug into these efforts.”

 

In framing the results, Lapchick asked, “Is the coverage of athletes and sports in the media fair and accurate when women and people of color are the subjects of the reporting? Are women and people of color fairly represented on today’s newspaper and website sports department staffs? How would a more diverse staff of sports editors, columnists and reporters affect what is commonly written about in our newspapers? These are the key positions where decisions on what is covered, who covers it and who offers opinions on it are made.

 

It is imperative that newspapers, as well as all businesses, hire the most qualified individual for each position. The Institute strives to emphasize the value of diversity to sports organizations and newspapers alike when assessing qualified candidates for open positions. Specific initiatives such as diversity and inclusion management training can help change attitudes and increase the applicant pool for open positions. It is clearly the choice of the organization regarding which applicant is the best fit for the job, but The Institute wants to illustrate how important it is to have a diverse organization including individuals who better reflect the population as well as the people we cover in sports. The Institute strongly believes that diversity is a business imperative and can provide a different perspective and possibly a competitive advantage for a win in the boardroom as well as with the public audience.”

 

Tables for the Report are included in Appendix I.

 

OVERALL GRADES

The APSE newspapers and websites received grades of C+ for racial hiring practices with 75.2 points and an F for gender hiring practices with 50 points in the five key positions covered in the 2014 study. This is the fourth consecutive time the APSE has receive a grade of F for gender hiring practices since TIDES began issuing grades in the 2008 Report Card. The combined grade for 2014 was a D.

 

In the category of racial hiring, APSE newspapers and websites received a grade of B- for total staff, a grade of B for columnists, copy editors/designers, and reporters, a C- for assistant sport editors, and a D+ for the category of sports editors.

 

The APSE newspapers and websites received a grade of F in every category for gender hiring practices.

 

The categories of sports editors and columnists were weighted at 20 percent and the other four were 15 percent.

 

Grade for APSE Total Staffs: 15 percent weight toward final grade

Race: B- 14.7 percent people of color

Gender: F 13.3 percent women

Grade for APSE Sports Editors: 20 percent weight toward final grade

Race: D+ 8.5 percent people of color

Gender: F 9.9 percent women

Grade for APSE Assistant Sports Editors: 15 percent weight toward final grade

Race: C- 9.8 percent people of color

Gender: F 9.8 percent women

Grade for APSE Columnists: 20 percent weight toward final grade

Race: B 16.5 percent people of color

Gender: F 12.4 percent women

Grade for APSE Reporters: 15 percent weight toward final grade

Race: B 15.0 percent people of color

Gender: F 12.7 percent women

Grade for APSE Copy Editors/Designers: 15 percent weight toward final grade

Race: B 16.7 percent people of color

Gender: F 19.2 percent women

 

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

 

The report shows the vast majority of people holding key positions on the major newspapers and media websites in the United States and Canada are white and male. The following report findings demonstrate that:

91.5 percent of the sports editors were white.

90.2 percent of the assistant sports editors were white.

83.5 percent of the columnists were white.

85 percent of the reporters were white.

83.3 percent of the copy editors/designers were white.

90.1 percent of the sports editors were men.

90.2 percent of the assistant sports editors were men.

87.6 percent of the columnists were men.

87.4 percent of the reporters were men.

80.8 percent of the copy editors/designers were men.

Other highlights from the study include:

The percentages of African-American men holding the position of copy editors/designers increased while assistant sports editors, reporters, columnists, and sports editors decreased.

White male sports editors increased by 0.7 of a percentage point.

The percentage of women sport editors increased for African-Americans and remained the same for Latinas.

Latino men increased in percentage for sports editors, columnists, and reporters.

Asian men increased for sport editors.

ESPN formed a substantial part of the totals for people of color who were columnists and sport editors.

 

Sports editors

 

African-American men and women combined decreased from 5.7 percent in 2012 to 4.5 percent in 2014.

 

There were still no Asian women serving as sports editors as of 2014.

 

Of the 16 people of color who were sports editors at the circulation “A” level and websites, seven worked for ESPN which also employed two of the six African-American men who were sports editors and three of the six Latinos who were sports editors. ESPN employed the only Latina sports editor and the only Asian sports editor. If the ESPN sports editors of color were removed, the percentage of sports editors of color would drop from 11.7 percent to 6.9 percent.

 

Of the 11 women who were sports editors at this level, seven worked for ESPN. If the ESPN sports editors who are women were removed, the percentage of female sports editors would drop from 8 percent to 3.1 percent.

 

The Boston Globe employed two of the African-American sports editors and three of the women who were sports editors. If the ESPN and The Boston Globe sports editors who are women were removed, the percentage of female sports editors would drop from 8 percent to 0.8 percent at the time of the survey. If the ESPN and The Boston Globe sports editors who are people of color were removed, the percentage of sports editors of color would drop from 11.8 percent to 5.5 percent.

 

Since the studies began in 2006, the 83.2 percent of the sports editor position held by white men in 2012 was the lowest. In 2014 the percentage of white men increased by 0.7 of a percentage point.

 

Assistant/Deputy Sports Editors

 

The percentage of assistant sports editors who were white men increased from 73.3 percent in 2012 to 84.2 percent in 2014 while the percentage of white women decreased from 13.3 percent in 2012 to 6.01 percent in 2014.

 

Assistant sports editor of color decreased by 3.4 percentage points from 13.3 percent in 2012 to 9.9 percent in 2014. In 2014, African-Americans made up 3.3 percent, Latinos 4.4 percent, Asians 1.1 percent, and 1.1 percent of “other” people of color.

 

Columnists

 

In 2014, women and people of color combined to make up 27.8 percent of columnists. This showed a 2.5 percentage point increase from 25.3 percent of columnists of the surveyed APSE member newspapers and websites in 2012.

 

The percentage of male columnists decreased by 2.7 percentage points to 87.6 percent.

 

For the first time in the survey of the APSE newspapers and websites, there was a Latina columnist.

 

Of the 48 men of color who were columnists at “A” newspapers and websites, 41 worked for ESPN. ESPN employed 30 of the 35 African-American male columnists, six of the eight Latino columnists, all four of the Asian columnists, and the only person categorized as “Other.” If the ESPN male columnists who are people of color were removed, the percentage of male columnists of color would drop from 17.5 percent to 3 percent.

 

Of the 37 women who were columnists at this level, 32 worked for ESPN. If the ESPN female columnists who are women were removed, the percentage of female columnists at this level would drop from 13.5 percent to 2.1 percent. Of the 37 women, two were African-American, one was Latina and one was Asian at “A” newspapers and websites. All four women of color were employed by ESPN.

 

Reporters

 

In 2014, 74.2 percent of the reporters surveyed were white males, which was a decrease of 1.9 percentage points from the 76.1 reported in 2012.

 

The percentage of women reporters was 12.7 percent in 2014, which was a one percentage point increase from 11.7 in 2012.

 

Copy editors/designers

 

In 2014, copy editors/designers of color increased by 2.7 percentage points (from 14 percent in 2012 to 16.7 percent in 2012).

Women represented 19.2 percent of the copy editors/designers in 2014, which was a decrease of 0.4 of a percentage point from 2012 (19.6 percent).

 

APSE Leadership

 

This summer, Mary Byrne of ESPN will become APSE’s first woman president since Sandra Rosenbush in 1993. Tracy Dodds (1999-00) was the only other female APSE president in the history of the organization since 1973.

Mike Fannin, a Latino, was the first person of color to be APSE President in 2007-08.

Lynn Hoppes, who is Asian-American, was APSE President in 2008-09.

Garry Howard was the third person of color and the first African-American to fill the position of APSE president in 2009-10.

 

Miscellaneous

 

Circulation size “A” papers had the highest percentage for people of color in their entire staffs at 17.4 percent and the highest percentage of women at 13.9 percent in 2014.

 

In circulation size “A” newspapers and websites, the SunSentinel (FL) had the highest percentage for people of color at 57.9 percent. The Charlotte Observer (NC) had the highest percentage of people of color at “B” newspapers with 30.8 percent. The Clarion Ledger (MS) had the highest percentage for people of color for size “C” newspapers at 33.3 percent. In size “D” newspapers, The Monitor (TX) had 66.7 percent people of color.

 

Looking at opportunities for women in size “A” newspapers, the Miami Herald (FL) was tops with 29.4 percent. In size “B” newspapers, the Oregonian (OR) was first with 17.9 percent. The Clarion Ledger (MS) also led size “C” in gender with 25 percent.

 

Of all the “A” circulation size newspapers and websites, SunSentinel (FL) held the highest percentage of people of color and/or women with 68.4 percent. The Oklahoman leads the “B” circulation size papers with 33.3 percent of their staff being women and/or people of color. The Clarion Ledger (MS) led the circulation size “C” papers with 41.7 percent of its sports staff being women or people of color.

 

For more information, contact:

Brandon Moyer – Brandon.moyer@knights.ucf.edu (804) 814-7275

Michaela Robbins – Mrobbi12@knights.ucf.edu (423) 991-7212

 

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