Now’s When We Throw Him Under the Bus: Institutional and Occupational Identities and the Coverage of Doping in Sport

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Ophir Sefiha Arizona State University

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This article explicates the processes by which sports news is constructed by analyzing the case of performance enhancing drug use coverage. An ethnographic study was conducted of a North American cycling news journal and website. Investigating fundamental tasks of the journalist profession illuminates the labor practices of sport media. Contextualized within institutional, economic and cultural conditions of production, these practices serve to frame not only what but how, texts are constructed. Results indicate that while performance enhancing drug use in sport is considered highly newsworthy, investigative costs, public fatigue, and lack of medical and legal knowledge account for the limited coverage.

Sefiha is with Arizona State University, School of Justice and Social Inquiry, Tempe, Arizona.

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