Caitlin Clark Indiana Fever Credit: Liam McGuire, USA Today Images

The Indianapolis Star, which got off to a terrible start in its relationship with new Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark, has drawn pointed criticism for another WNBA-related reason.

Friday, IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman addressed that issue in a detailed thread on X/Twitter.

While the sports media and fans were still roasting IndyStar columnist Gregg Doyel for his “sexist” greeting to Clark as she met the Indianapolis media Wednesday, one reporter brought up another issue.

Kavitha A. Davidson, an award-winning journalist who has worked for HBO, ESPN and The Athletic among other roles, noted that the IndyStar has more than a dozen sports beat writers, but no one assigned to the Fever.

“The IndyStar has 13 people covering sports on its masthead, including beat writers for the Pacers, Colts, Hoosiers, motorsports, and high school sports,” Davidson posted on X. “It has no dedicated Fever beat reporter. It might want to change that.”

Davidson included a screenshot of the newspaper’s masthead, showing the various beat reporters. Osterman, who covers Indiana University sports, responded to Davidson’s observation. Anyone looking for a nasty X/Twitter dispute to revel in here will be disappointed. Osterman’s response was exceedingly polite and explained the newspaper’s situation, which he said has been affected by staff cuts in recent years.

“Hi. I have debated weighing in on this, mostly because I’m not sure if it would make a tremendously positive difference,” Osterman began. “But I feel compelled to speak up for a pretty specific reason about this pretty specific topic.”

Osterman went on to say that in his 10 1/2 years at the newspaper, “We’ve lost a lot of great folks.”

“The people I see on that staff list have worked two, three, four times as hard, to ensure as few gaps emerged in our coverage as possible,” Osterman continued. “We’ve not closed every hole, and we won’t. But we’ve done our damndest, and I hope it’s not gone noticed.”

Osterman noted that Chloe Peterson is the IndyStar‘s Fever reporter (as a University of Iowa alum, she should have plenty in common with Clark).

As he concluded the thread, Osterman agreed with Davidson’s original point about women’s basketball coverage, but chided her for assuming the IndyStar had overlooked that area.

“Women’s basketball — and women’s sports — deserve more coverage,” Osterman said. “As it pertains to the Fever, I assure you, it’s coming. But it’s a touch disrespectful to the folks on that staff list (and ones no longer there) to suggest we’ve casually left unattended holes in our work.”

All in all, a refreshingly polite, informative exchange on X. On a related note, expect plenty of coverage of Clark and the WNBA as a whole next season, by the IndyStar and others, as the former college superstar’s rookie year is expected to be one of the biggest stories in sports.

[Zach Osterman]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.