Sports content is a crucial aspect of many media organisations’ output. But while the ethical issues surrounding news journalism are closely scrutinised, the ethical dilemmas facing sports journalism are often neglected, or even unacknowledged. Issues of media regulation remain highly contentious in the UK, but how does sports output and the conduct of sports journalism departments fit into this debate? Is the balance of power between sports journalists and sports media relations executives shifting decisively in favour of the latter? How have sports journalists responded to the issues arising from the digital revolution?
The conference aims to provide a space for analysis and discussion on the varied ethical issues confronting sports journalists. Topics might then include:
- Too cosy a relationship? Sports journalists and sports PR managers
- Does sports journalism need a separate industry code?
- Taking the (click)bait: are website visitor targets undermining high-quality sports journalism?
- Covering diversity in sports – issues of representation in sports coverage
- Using social media as a sports journalist: the ethical issues
- Sports journalism and ‘entrapment’: the ethical issues involved in an undercover investigation
- Branded content – is it in danger of killing independent sports journalism?
- “Fans with typewriters”. How prepared are sports journalists to cover ‘hard’ news on top of the regular diet of press conferences and matches?
- How should ethics and regulation be taught to sports journalists, both in industry and on training courses?
- Fan sites: when citizen sports journos challenge the news values of corporate media’s sports coverage
- Sports celebrities – and the ‘human interest’ bias of the media
- Local sports coverage – the necessary manufacture of ‘imagined communities’?
These issues – and more – will be of interest to academics, journalists, sports media relations practitioners and students working in the field of sports communications.