Females can be sports editors too, increase coverage

“Hi, my name is Malisa McClure, and I’m the sports editor for The Flor-Ala.”

And yes, it still feels weird (and extremely exciting!) to say.

I remember the weeks before interviewing for this position, when the excitement and anxiety started to get to me. All I could think or talk about was the upcoming interview, and I was bouncing ideas off of anyone who would listen.

I remember talking to a coach one day and mentioning that I would be interviewing for sports editor.

“And how many female sports editors are there?” he said.

“I don’t know,” I said, “But hopefully I’ll be one of them soon.”

I didn’t take offense to his question; he didn’t mean anything by it. He was simply curious and, after talking to him, so was I.

To be honest, I’d never met a female sports editor. I also knew that The Flor-Ala hadn’t had a female sports editor in quite some time. So, I decided to do some research.

According to the 2010-2011 Associated Press Sports Editors Racial and Gender Report Card, in over 320 websites and newspapers studied, 94 percent of people in sports editor positions were male. That leaves a pretty small percentage of female sports editors, doesn’t it?

And it’s not just women working in media who are getting the short end of the stick. I read in a SMART Journal article that according to multiple studies, women’s sports and female athletes receive considerably less coverage than men’s sports.

These facts didn’t surprise me – for instance, how many people fill out brackets for the WNBA playoffs?

The Flor-Ala itself has been guilty of this. During the 2011-2012 year, we didn’t cover volleyball or soccer as often as we covered football. And while we covered baseball nearly every weekend, I don’t think we covered a single softball game. We even made the crucial error of not covering UNA soccer when the team won its first GSC conference.

So, that being said, my hope is that I can lead this year’s sports section towards fairer, more diverse coverage. My goal is to cover all of the sports – not every game, as The Flor-Ala has a small staff – but I want to be as inclusive as possible.

I don’t just mean the women’s sports. Rugby, golf, and bass fishing didn’t get much coverage from us either.

But I can’t do it all by myself. I need your help. If you’re a sports lover – whether or not you’re a writer – and you want to be a part of making The Flor-Ala’s sports section even better than in the past, I want to talk to you! Call me, tweet me, tell me your ideas and, if you want to, write for me!

All that being said, I’m looking forward to making this year’s sports section the best it can be. I may not be your typical sports editor, but I’m passionate and ready to take The Flor-Ala sports section to new heights. (Don’t let the purse fool ya.)