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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

May 8, 2007 at 7:21 AM

Nothing changing

As I felt when the hoopla was happening, the firing of Don Imus wasn’t going to change much in America and hasn’t, based on a study on TV news programs. Sure, the media can find a minority when it needs a minority to talk about minorities, but apparently minorities can’t discuss much else. After the dustup, the stations returned to their predominately white guest list. And this was after a week when everyone was talking about how to understand each other whether it be between races or genders.
Gee, maybe if the guest lists continually included people from all different backgrounds we’d learn a thing or two about people from all different backgrounds. Ya think?
Status quo is tiresome and directly affects the WNBA.
When people complain about the lack of coverage of the league, as if it’s a surprise in its 11th season, they should look around at the way basic news is covered. Women’s issues and images rarely make it to major news stations unless sex is tied in. That’s why the WNBA has sexed itself up in the past and still tries to pump its femininity. (Meanwhile the Rutgers basketball team actually looked like players during the whirlwind, posing for photo ops in their uniforms or warm-ups — two snaps for that!)
Money, again, will most likely be the only motive for change. Just as people threatened during the Imus situation, fans are going to have to continue to demand more from agencies that were initially established to serve them. And the fight can’t just be a few thousand rabid fans across the country. If the league truly had 1.7 million fans last season, which is down from past seasons and includes many repeat customers, that number needs to be harassing the news outlets with letters and calls to create change or boycott its sponsors.
Because clearly the league has money-spending fans that want to know more about the sport. Or maybe even listen to an exhibition game on the radio to hear how prospects are doing just as fans of football enjoy coverage of spring games. WNBA fans shouldn’t be faulted because they don’t control television or radio programming or newspaper content and those that do aren’t interested.
Otherwise, as the survey shows, it’ll just be the usual suspects that we see and hear.

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