The nation’s sports editors, recently told that they preside over what is likely the whitest, most male section of newspaper and website newsrooms, are planning a nine-month program intended to train midcareer women and journalists of color for sports-department leadership positions.
Michael A. Anastasi, new president of Associated Press Sports Editors and managing editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, announced the program at the group’s convention in Boston late last week and told Journal-isms on Monday, “I will be making this the major initiative of my term.”
Anastasi told his fellow sports editors, “Now, there are those in the industry who will say that diversity is not important, that it’s passe, that in the big picture it’s not what we should be worrying about any longer.
“To those I say this: horse shit.
“It is not only the right thing to do, it’s the vital thing to do. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the urgent thing to do. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s key to our survival. . . .
“As an organization, our diversity efforts have focused mostly on young people, just out of school. We can rightly celebrate great success with [the Sports Journalism Institute], with Hampton University, with our partnership with [American Women in Sports Media]. Many of us need to look no farther than our own newsrooms to see some of that success.
“However, how this new program differentiates itself is by focusing on the midcareer professional, rather than the student. We are targeting working journalists, the copy editors, the web editors, the reporters, who are in your newsroom today. We want them to be here, among us who lead, in the future.
“Working with Indiana University, with SJI, with our Sports Management Program and leveraging the many resources APSE already has and offers, we will put our Fellows through a nine-month, in-depth course of study that will stretch them, will educate them, will challenge them, and will prepare them to be leaders in our newsrooms.