General, Sportswriting

Did Sports Illustrated senior writer reveal a bias to hire women? Isn’t it really about time for all sports media to do so?

There is a fascinating discussion on gender bias taking place on Twitter among several talented sports writers. No shocker: social media sees this as a black-and-white issue, but there are several gray areas as well.

Is it OK to hire and promote women over men, even if the industry is disproportionately one-sided? That’s a notion that has been discussed for many decades – even if there has been nominal progress. Sports journalism remains men-centric even though we educators have noticed extraordinary interest among women in covering sports. We now get large numbers at the CMI Sports Reporting Workshop, women pack sessions on sports coverage at College Media Association conferences and more women are taking our sports media courses here at Eastern Illinois University. (Shameless plug: we have elevated our sports program to a major starting Fall 2018). Continue reading

Sports Design

Big photos = big-time sports design

It seems like a terribly poor decision by Sports Illustrated to eliminate its photo staff, especially since the magazine boasts about visuals in its title. In fact, S.I. photographers have captured some of the most iconic photos in sports. I thought about this even more during the weekend after reviewing sports designs related to Ernie Banks’ death a few days ago. The lesson: Great design relies on great visuals. Too many newspapers cram a bunch of small photos onto a page, often without much rhyme nor reason. Whenever possible, use big photos and large headlines. A little white space never hurts, either. Neither does reading this website by the world’s foremost designer, Mario Garcia. Anyway, here are a few simple, elegant designs to consider when planning your own sports sections.

Mr Cub great designBanks front page