I mentioned in my June 20 blog (about an interview with Julie Ward) that shrinking staffs in sports departments were likely disproportionately eroding diversity. It looks as though APSE's latest study indicates that while racial diversity has improved just slightly (although still dismal), women have generally lost ground since the APSE's 2006 report was issued. Richard Lapchick, an author on the study, questioned decision-making about content by staffs that continue to be overwhelmingly dominated by white men.
In a statement in the report, Tribune Co. Sports Coordinator John Cherwa seems to imply that newspaper losses are at least in part a result of diversity gains at ESPN.com and other TV-Web operations. But that is likely not the case, and certainly the APSE study can't support such a claim -- given that two major operations, CBS and Yahoo, declined to participate. What we need is benchmark data on diversity in hiring at these and the many other Web operations (including those such as MLB.com) that compete with newspaper operations.