116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Kudos to The Gazette for the series of articles leading up to the 50th anniversary of Title IX. I have been pleased to see them right where they belong — on the front page of the sports section, (usually) above the fold.
Readers may not realize how unusual it is to see regular and substantive newspaper and TV coverage of girls’ and women’s sports, because our local news outlets do a much better job of it than national averages. Research from Purdue University and the University of Southern California reports only a little more than 5 percent of sports coverage nationwide is about women and girls, with virtually no growth in the past 30 years. Take out women’s soccer, and the percentage of coverage drops below three.
Contrast this abysmal record to dramatic growth in girls’ participation. When Title IX came into effect 50 years ago, about one in 27 school-aged girls went out for sports. In 2019, it was one in three, catching up to boys’ participation at a rate of about four in 10.
Make no mistake — there still is room to grow toward parity in programs for and media coverage of sports for women and girls. But The Gazette is to be commended for working toward that growth by making a big deal out of the 50th anniversary of Title IX in sports.
Now, how about more coverage of all the difference Title IX has made beyond the world of sport?