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Journalism Center hosts symposium on diversity in sports media


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:



  • Stephen A. Smith is a long-time television analyst for ESPN-TV and ESPN Radio and columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Smith now is a contributor to MSNBC. He's the former host of ESPN TV's talk show, "Quite Frankly."
  • William C. Rhoden is a sports columnist for The New York Times, author and regular guest on ESPN's "The Sports Reporters." Rhoden also is the author of the controversial book, Forty Million Dollar Slaves.
  • Kristin Huckshorn is the senior news editor for ESPN in New York. Before joining ESPN in 2007, Huckshorn was the deputy sports editor of The New York Times for five years. She's a founding member of the Association for Women in Sports Media and has won the organization's Pioneer Award.
  • Garry D. Howard is the president of the Associated Press Sports Editors, the nation's largest professional sports media organization. He also is the sports editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and has been a senior sports editor atThe Philadelphia Inquirer and The St. Petersburg Times.
  • Richard Lapchick is the director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He's a recognized national expert and researcher on the subject of hiring practices of women and people of color in sports news organizations.



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, 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. 


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