Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The revolving door keeps turning -- and churning more women out

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 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 that compete with newspaper operations.

1 comment:

Jason Clinkscales said...

It's not surprising that those outlets would not participate. I'm actually a huge fan of the writers at Yahoo! Sports, but outside of having Dominique Dawes as an Olympic correspondent, there is no female presense. Add that Kenny Smith is the lone writer of color (as far as I can tell) doesn't give the outlet much of a diverse face.

Ironically, Tim Brown wrote a piece about the difficulties that Kim Ng (the assistant GM for the Dodgers) faces in becoming the first female GM. Interesting that the sportswriters rarely (if at all) discuss diversity issues in the industry, but are quick to point out the same oversights in the leagues they cover.

I hope that while the company is trying to determine its overall future, they bring along more writers because they are already quite good.