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about the missing jerseys, twitter is, you know, very public. Some suggestions:

Jim Tooley,Executive Director/CEO @jtooleyusa

@jtooleyusa Hey Jim, enjoy your updates. Wonder if you could update me on how I could get a USABB Catchings jersey. Want to represent the best of the US

USABasketball: @usabasketball

@usabasketball Hey USA Bball – appreciate you supporting the men’s and women’s teams so equitably. Small fail, though – looks like the women’s jerseys haven’t arrived yet. Anywhere.

In case you’re inspired to do something about the missing coverage, twitter is, you know, very public. Since I can’t pick on EVERY news outlet, I’ll pick on my local NYTimes folks:

@LondonLive: Continuous coverage of the #London2012 Olympics by New York Times reporters and editors.

@LondonLive: Hey, LondonLive Was wondering if you knew the US had a women’s national team in basketball. They’re pretty good, what with them going for their 5th gold. What do they need to do to get coverage?

@nytbishop: New York Times general assignment sports reporter.

@nytbishop: Hey Greg. Impressed with the number of words you’re writing about the men’s national team. Is there a rule new at the Times that you can’t write about the women? Just wondering.

Rob Mahoney @RobMahoney: I write basketball things at basketball places. The New York Times. ESPN TrueHoop Network. NBA Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk.

@RobMahoney: Hey Rob. I see you write “basketball things at basketball places.” Did you know that there are some basketball things happening that include women? Might want to check them out. They’re called the US National Team

@PeteThamelNYT: Pete Thamel is the national college sports reporter for The New York Times

@PeteThamelNYT: Hey Pete. Hope you’re enjoying your summer. Any chance you could find the time to cover the USA Women’s Basketball team. They all went to — and graduated from — college. AND they’re going for their 5th straight gold!

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entreaty

If somebody doesn’t talk to SOMEbody at ESPN to get these playoff games on accessible tv – I’m looking at you Donna, Force 10, Annie, Blaze, Kathy Betty, Dolan, Blaze – it’ll be a damn shame.

From Jayda: WNBA president says more playoffs could air on regular cable (next year)

WNBA president Donna Orender didn’t want to talk about poker in her brief visit to KeyArena on Thursday, handing out the MVP and Coach of the Year trophies before jet-setting back home. Despite a recent report stating ESPN2 has done well with its viewership for WNBA games, declining for other programming, the entertainment network still opts to air NFL exhibition games or poker instead of the WNBA postseason.

Maybe The Donna could chat with MSG about re-upping the broadcast of Liberty games next season, even though She praised the Garden’s efforts to improve the Liberty and declined to criticize MSG’s reduction of the team’s telecasts directly.’As a league, we’re focusing on maximizing our exposure in every delivery option we can,’ she said.

Oh, wait. We’re not going to be at the Garden. I wonder what the plans are…. I’m sure we’ll “get a letter” about it soon.

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Oh, oh…

*steps up on soapbox*

So, if you’re a regular reader of this blog (and it would appear that 600-800 of you are daily) you know how often I bang the “If you want coverage you have to advocate for coverage” drum.

My understanding from “those in the know” is that it’s no longer just about clicking on a link. It’s also about leaving comments.

Yah, while it’s annoying to register (use a yahoo-ish addy, kids, for that stuff) and the whole “Be the first to LIKE this” forced Facebook thing is even more annoying, it really needs to be done. ’cause if it’s not, then the coverage is going to continue to shrink.

SO — this is not really a test… think of it more as a challenge. Go to the Michelle Agins LENS link on the NY Times that features her slides from the 1998 NY Times Sunday Magazine. Leave a comment.

Right now there are 5. If 10% of the daily readers will step up, that would be and additional 60-80 people saying to Sports Editor Tom Jolly – “Hey, we want coverage and we’re willing to prove it.” Come on. I dare ya.

*steps off soap box*

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if it’s unintended?

From the Freakonomics Blog (The Hidden Side of Everything) at the New York Times: Why Doesn’t ESPN Cover Women?

Women’s sports have become much more popular in recent years.  In 2009, 3.1 million high school-aged girls and 4.4 million high school-aged boys played sports, compared to 294,000 girls and 3.7 million boys in 1971.  However, new research finds that media coverage of women’s sports has dropped considerably.  In 1989, the evening sports news shows devoted 5 percent of their time to women’s sports vs. 92 percent to men’s sports; women’s sports coverage peaked at 8.7 percent in 1999 before dropping to 1.6 percent in 2009.  ESPN’s Sportscenter devoted only 1.4% of its time to women’s sports coverage in 2009.  

Michael Messner, one of the study’s coauthors, thinks that the lack of coverage stems from fear and inertia, rather than commercial reasons: “Men are capable of doing really good sports reporting on women’s sports and a lot of men really like women’s sports. But I think there is a fear on a lot of their parts, if they don’t stay with the big three sports.”

*really long sentence alert. take a deep breath!*

I’ll be interested to see if Freakster Stephen D. — who I met when I was at the WNYC studios a while back because I asked the same question of our local NPR station — responds to my email pointing him to the NY Times writers for their answers.

On a side note, light bulb kinda thing — isn’t it interesting that the athletic gear people seem to be able to tap into the “female market” but the news media can’t?

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Michael Messner is a professor of sociology and gender studies at the University of Southern California (USC) and is the author of numerous books including Power at Play: Sports and the Problem of Masculinity. He is the co-author, along with Prof. Cheryl Cooky, of a new report called, Gender in Televised Sports: News and Highlight Shows, 1989-2009. www.college.usc.edu/tvsports. Here we discuss this fascinating study.

DZ: Let’s talk about your study on gender and televised sports.  What did you and Professor Cooky uncover in your research?

MM: We looked at the three local networks affiliates here in Los Angeles and also the ESPN Sportscenter at 11 o’clock in the evening.  The first time we did this study was 1989 and we have done it every five years since then. The first couple times we did it, 1989 and 1993 coverage of women sports on the evening news shows was about 5%.  I know a lot of people back then said that the number would continue to go up as time went by and the media caught up with this explosion of girls and women sports throughout the country.  Indeed in 1999 it nudged up to 8.7% of all sports coverage.  Then in 2004 it went back down to 6.3% and the most recent data we collected was in 2009 and the coverage on the evening news shows has almost evaporated to 1.6%, the lowest amount ever, and ESPN is right down there with 1.4% of their Sportscenter coverage.  We were pretty stunned by the drop off.

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From Sports, Media and Society: Sports blogging: Don’t look for big payoff

Damn. Well, there go my retirement plans!

But, more to the point:

As the Ad Age article makes clear, though, there are plenty of Brinings out there, willing to write about sports and a host of other topics — for free. The result may be a business model that discourages organizations from paying for quality reporting and writing. In other words,the free-content trend drags down the entire sports-reporting enterprise.

My highlight – and I’d add, the current business model discourages readers from expecting to pay for quality reporting and writing….

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