INDIANAPOLIS -- The National Sports Journalism Center based at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will host a symposium on Sept. 14 with some of America's top sports news personalities, executives and an academic to explore the issue of diversity in America's sports news departments and its impact on coverage.
A recent study showed that only 6 percent of the nation's top print and online sports editors are minorities, and only 13 percent of sports reporters are people of color, even though the athletes they cover in several sports are overwhelmingly minorities.
The 2008 report, conducted by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida, also found that women make up only about 11 percent of print and online sports news departments. And, there has been virtually no improvement in the number of minorities and women in sports departments in recent years.
The symposium, "From the Press Box to the Locker Room: The Diversity Divide," will examine this issue in sports newsrooms and, significantly, the impact it has on what sports news consumers see, read and hear.
The panel will feature some of the nation's biggest names in sports news and academia. They include:
The symposium will be moderated by Timothy A. Franklin, director of the National Sports Journalism Center and former editor of The Baltimore Sun.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be recorded for broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
It will be held at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex, 535 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis, on the IUPUI campus.
After the event, Rhoden will be signing his book, Forty Million Dollar Slaves.
This is the second symposium conducted by the National Sports Journalism Center. Last March the center conducted a discussion on the future of sports media that included ABC/ESPN basketball analyst Steve Lavin, ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor Sage Steele, ESPN.com senior national columnist Gene Wojciechowski, andIndianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz.
The National Sports Journalism Center, which opened in January, is the nation's most comprehensive institute for the study of sports media. The center includes undergraduate sports journalism courses on the IUPUI and Bloomington campuses this fall, internship opportunities for students and a speaker series. The center is the national headquarters of the Associated Press Sports Editors.
On Nov. 10th, the center will host a discussion with Fox sportscaster and six-time Emmy Award-winner Joe Buck. That event will be held at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., in Bloomington.