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Goodbye to the last female columnist in New York

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mediator, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    Not only was Johnette Howard one of the best columnists in New York, but she is a woman. Now that her position has been eliminated, there are no more women writing sports columns in New York City. In the last year, Lisa Olson left the Daily News and Selena Roberts left the Times, and they have not been replaced.

    Obviously, you want to read a columnist who is good regardless of race or gender, but the fact that these three women consistently turned out quality and thought-provoking work meant something to other young women who wanted to do this for a living. (You could say the same of Shaun Powell, but he is not the last African-American columnist working in New York.)

    There are a lot of things about the changes in our business that trouble me greatly. Job loss, circulation drops and finding a sustainable business model among them. This is another. The Yahoos and CBS Sportslines of the world don't hire women to write. ESPN is one of the few outlets that seems to have made a commitment to hiring women and minorities, but elsewhere the industry is leaving that goal behind.

    I know there are those of you out there who don't care, or are openly hostile to the happy-faced "diversity" initiatives of the '90s. But I never thought I'd see a major sportscentric city without at least one woman's voice in the mix.
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member


    five down from the top...
  3. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

  4. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I think slappy's calling this a d_b, but I think this thread is taking a different big-picture view of the happenings at Newsday, tying them in with a regrettable series of events.
  5. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    Unique that no female columnists exist at the big papers there. Can't believe there aren't a few females at smaller papers in area.
  6. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I wouldn't call it a d_b either. Pretty sobering stuff.
  7. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    Tara Sullivan is at the Bergen Record. But the Times, Post, Daily News and Newsday are the only papers you can actually buy in the city.
  8. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    And the number of people who buy those papers hoping to read a female sports columnist is ???

    No offense. And I completely appreciate the way mediator framed this situation, pre-empting a lot of automatic recoil to diversity and such. Still, this does into the area of giving people something they need more than something they want, and we're getting it hammered into us all the time that we're presumptuous to think we should be the gatekeepers of what people should want/need.

    If someone could cite the click numbers for Johnette Howard or Lisa Olson, and they demonstrated a real appetite, maybe one of these newspapers' managers would make a priority out of this. But in this economic and dying-industry climate, "ought to's" are an especially difficult sell.
  9. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    outstanding point.

    and even tara at the record is only an emergency columnist when ian o'conner isn't available. oh, and to put it kindly, tara isn't very good.
  10. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Lupica left?
  11. Not much in terms of diversity, but last I checked, CBSSports' Erin Brown was a woman. She doesn't write a lot, but she is employed by the site as the NHL producer.

    Don't confuse that with me saying that CBS is doing a great job hiring women. They aren't, at all. But they aren't all men exclusively.
  12. Montezuma's Revenge

    Montezuma's Revenge Active Member

    I don't give a crap if New York has zero female columnists, one, or 10.

    I enjoy reading Sally Jenkins not because she's female, but because of the way she writes and what she has to say.

    The only relevant thing to me is that a bunch of really good journalists are losing their jobs. It's no better or worse if it happens to a woman.
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