Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wall Street Journal Article Tells a Different Story than the Headline

If you only read the headline in this Sunday's Wall Street Journal -- "Wanted: Female Players: Thirty-five years after Title IX, colleges struggle to fill women's teams" -- you'd think that there are no qualified and interested female athletes out there.

But then you read the article, and you realize that, in fact, there are. The point of the article, viewed separately from the headline, seems to be that parents of female athletes wishing to pursue scholarship opportunities for their daughters have to spend thousands of dollars to hire agents to bring them to the attention of coaches in their sport. This trend would seem to underscore the point made by women sports advocates, who suggest (as the WSJ acknowledges) "that the real problem [why there are fewer female college athletes than male] is paltry recruiting budgets and coaches who don't make enough effort to find athletes."

Why the disconnect? Does WSJ believe that to get a mainstream audience to read an article about women's sports, it must be framed with a headline that calls Title IX into doubt?

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