Thursday, May 8, 2008

extra! extra! read all about it...eventually

newsboy.jpgI've scribbled before about how I slog through 389789020924 stories a day to keep the GLTR news section fresh. What I may not have disclosed, but you've probably noticed, however, is that most teasers on our site have been edited to highlight the lady-related bits. Once you click through to the actual article, this info is likely to be buried near the end. And the chances of the woman in question's name showing up in the "real" headline probably ain't so good. Contest wrap-ups are the worst offenders -- you're usually clobbered by descriptions of Ricky Ripper's super-sick winning run from the headline through the first eight paragraphs before Rita Ripper's mere presence at the event is acknowledged.

It's supremely frustrating. And it's complete bullshit.

It doesn't matter who writes the press releases -- everyone follows the same predictable pattern. And if you think that companies that boast a juniors' arm are sensitive to this, well, I hate to break it you: If it's a mixed event, you can bet your foam finger that the PR department is going to drool over the dudes first, no matter how kick-ass the women were riding that day. The real punt to the shins, though, is that when they do get around to reporting on the XXers, the level of detail is often pitiable. Ricky's runs are carefully dissected, move by move; Rita's are dusted off with a sentence or two telling us that she "killed it," and maybe one more calling out a couple of the 20+ tricks she pulled.

Despite that fact that Rita probably made her sponsors six figures in retail sales this year. Apiece. Again.

I'm sure the "wow factor" plays a huge role in this; guys do go bigger than girls, after all, and press releases are designed to play up the most spectacular points of an event and play to the mainstream. But would it be so hard to commend the women and the men in the same headline? Or throw the girls' coverage up top once in a while? At the very least, asking the writer to deliver equal coverage seems reasonable. 'Cause right now, thanks to selective journalism, the ladies were there, all right, but they might as well have been sipping Mountain Dew with you on the sidelines.

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