WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Jasmine Crighton's Final Shop Talk

Mar 6, 2019

Jasmine Crighton joined the Shop Talk panel in August 2013.  This week she recorded her final program, which focused on the latest Status of Women in the U.S. Media report.

The Women’s Media Center puts together the annual diversity survey.  The group said participation was low this year – just 17.3% of newsrooms responded. 

The organization said the key findings include:

  • Women comprised 41.7% and people of color 22.6% of the overall workforce in those responding newsrooms
  • Editors of the nation’s 135 most widely distributed newspapers are overwhelmingly male and White, according to the Columbia Journalism Review.
  • Sports desks at 75 of the nation’s newspapers and online news sites earned a “B+” for racial diversity, a “D+” for gender and racial diversity, combined, and a sixth consecutive “F” for lack of gender equity, according to the “Racial and Gender Report Card,” commissioned by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
  • A record number of women are working in TV news, including as news directors; but fewer women and people of color are employed in radio news, according to the Radio Television Digital Association.
  • Women owned 7.4% of the nation’s commercial TV stations, according to the federal government’s most recent tally.
  • Women were general managers of 17.4% of the nation’s AM and FM stations.

Crighton said the media needs women journalists and it is shame if those low numbers are accurate.  She also said there should be more women doing sports play-by-play. Crighton said when she attended college, a couple female colleagues chose not to pursue careers in play-by-play because they felt no stations or networks would accept them.

Panelist Will Buss said he worked for a newspaper that had plenty of female interns in the newsroom but none on the sports desk.  He doesn’t know why the sports editors and reporters refused to allow female interns.  He said sports reporters should be given opportunities based on their ability and knowledge of sports; gender shouldn’t matter.

Panelist Rich Egger agreed that few women are getting opportunities in sports play-by-play for major league sports.  He said color commentary positions seem to be reserved for ex-athletes and some women have broken into those roles.

Shop Talk is a panel discussion featuring Jasmine Crighton, News Director of NEWS3 at Western Illinois University; Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at WIU and advises the student editors at the Western Courier; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.