This study examined contemporary daily sports journalism through the lenses of media sociology and new institutional theory. In-depth interviews with 25 sports journalists (reporters and editors) identified the institutionalized norms, values, practices, and routines of American sports journalism; demonstrated how that institutionalization affects story selection; and showed how the profession is changing due to digital and social media. The interviews show that although traditional sports journalism is highly institutionalized, digital sports journalism is far less so. Traditional sports journalism is still centered around a story, and digital sports journalism follows Robinson’s journalism-as-process model. The journalists interviewed are expected to perform acts of both traditional and digital journalism during the same workday, which leads to tension in how they do their jobs.
Carol M. Liebler and Brian P. Moritz
This study focuses on how sportswriters and other writers engaged in news paradigm repair via the explanations they provided for the failure to catch the Manti Te’o hoax in January 2013. The Te’o story is a particularly provocative context in which to examine such paradigm repair, because the transgression did not lie with a single journalist or news organization but with an entire profession failing to get the story. Reporters, columnists, and bloggers all engaged in repair, although the repair tended to appear most frequently in traditional media and run in nonsport sections. Writers rarely engaged in self-reflexivity, instead assigning blame to others, although they did suggest possible repairs. Nearly all writers pointed to news routines to explain how they had been duped, with particular attention to fact-checking and sources.