Football’s EURO 2016 in France marked a high point for sport journalism and broadcasting in all the countries involved ( Broadband, 2016 ). Above all in Europe, reporting on the big football tournaments regularly gains the greatest television coverage ( Gerhard & Geese, 2016 ; Gerhard & Zubayr
Thomas Horky, Marianna Baranovskaa, Christoph G. Grimmer, Honorata Jakubowska, and Barbara Stelzner
Sada Reed and Guy Harrison
, incompetent, alcoholic hacks who would sell their grandmothers for a good story, a free ticket, a drink or an inside tip about a horse to bet on” ( Wulfemeyer, 1985 , p. 57). The practice of sport journalism though, is changing. Sport-specific ethical codes and university-level sport journalism programs have
Warren A. Whisenant, Paul M. Pedersen, and Michael K. Smucker
Job satisfaction is an essential construct explaining human behavior in organizations. To fully understand the construct, however, it is necessary to recognize how employees establish satisfaction levels. One method has been to explore who employees use as a basis of comparison—referent others—when establishing their perceptions of equity, which influence satisfaction. This study expanded the body of knowledge associated with satisfaction and sport organizations by using nontraditional participants—members of the Association for Women in Sports Media. The referent-selection processes used by these women in determining their level of satisfaction in five specific areas of job satisfaction were compared. The Job Descriptive Index was used to establish satisfaction levels, and a Referent Selection Instrument identified whom the participants used as a basis of comparison. The findings indicate the extent to which the participants made referent comparisons, what comparisons were made, and the relationship between satisfaction and their referent comparisons.
Mary Jo Kane and Janet B. Parks
Past researchers have consistently demonstrated that female and male athletes receive differential treatment in the media: males are presented in ways that emphasize their physical/athletic ability, while females are portrayed in terms of their femininity and physical attractiveness. Researchers have concluded that this pattern of coverage is a manifestation of the social construction of gender difference and hierarchy in sport and thus serves a patriarchal agenda. However, a widely-held “common-sense” perception is that differential treatment occurs due to methodological inconsistencies related to prior research, rather than to media bias designed to devalue and disempower women. For example, in the past, researchers have examined different media types, sports, readerships and editorial policies. These methodological variations are frequently offered by various audiences (ranging from academicians to the general public) as alternative, competing explanations for differential coverage found in prior research. An example of competing explanation, grounded in methodological concerns, is the following: the difference in coverage is perceived to have occurred because one researcher examined professional tennis while another researcher focused on intercollegiate basketball. Implicit in this perception is the suggestion that different sport levels and types are responsible for differential coverage, not media bias. Controlling for methodological differences in previous research, the hermeneutic method was employed to analyze the written text of feature articles in the same magazine (Sports Illustrated), for the same year (1989), covering the same sport (professional tennis). Statements in the text that referred to female and male athletes were classified within a Performance Related Dimension (athletic ability, mental ability, strength of character) or a Non-Performance Related Dimension (emotions, physical appearance, personal life). In spite of tight methodological controls, a consistent pattern of gender difference and hierarchy was found throughout the feature articles. Implications of the study relative to future research that address consumers’ perceptions of media portrayals are presented.
Mark Lowes and Christopher Robillard
traditional sport-journalism work routines and news-production practices. In this scholarly commentary, our approach here is to draw on existing sport communication literature in an exploration of social media’s role in, and impact on, sport journalism practices. Exploration in this context is a particular
Linda J. Schoenstedt and Jackie Reau
The objective of this case study was to create and execute a proactive new-media public relations plan for the 2009 Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon. Although the economic activity surrounding this marathon has been studied by Cobb and Olberding (2008), the 11th running of the popular marathon offered a chance to launch a social-media newsroom inside the traditional media center. Social-media tools like Twitter, YouTube, blogs, Facebook, Twitpics, and other multimedia postings have revamped news forums through their immediate transmission of news while traditional media must wait until press time. Few sporting events have actively planned to use social-media platforms to create ad campaigns, generate buzz, or track digital participation for selling, marketing, and measuring various responses to the event.
David Welch Suggs Jr.
Sports reporters depend on access to events and sources as much or more than any other news professional. Over the past few years, some sports organizations have attempted to restrict such access, as well as what reporters can publish via social media. In the digital era, access and publishing autonomy, as institutionalized concepts, are evolving rapidly. Hypotheses tying access and work practices to reporters’ perceptions of the legitimacy they experience are developed and tested via a structural equation model, using responses to a survey of journalists in American intercollegiate athletics and observed dimensions of access and autonomy to measure a latent variable of legitimacy. The model suggests that reporters have mixed views about whether they possess the legitimacy they need to do their jobs.
Edward M. Kian and Matthew H. Zimmerman
In this phenomenology, interviews were conducted with former newspaper reporters now working for prominent Internet sports sites. Krumboltz’s (2008) Planned Happenstance Learning Theory on career development was used as a guiding framework. Data were transcribed and coded by two researchers. Most of the journalists decided to be newspaper sports writers early in life and began garnering professional experiences in their teens or in college. None planned to work for Internet outlets. However, all foresaw the demise of newspapers and landed with Internet outlets through media connections initially formed through newspapers. All but one expressed high satisfaction in their current jobs, citing large travel budgets, freedom to choose writing assignments, national platforms, and no hard time deadlines for submitting stories. These reporters find the future of sports journalism unpredictable, but believe they will be ready. Lehman-Wilizig and Cohen-Avigdor’s media life-cycle model (2004) was used to understand results in a broader context.
Ted M. Butryn, Matthew A. Masucci, and jay a. johnson
While most professional sports quickly postponed their seasons due to COVID-19, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) took a decidedly contrarian approach as president Dana White continued to promote UFC 249 until pressure forced its cancelation on April 9, 2020. Drawing from work on sport and spectacle and the media as well as sport management scholarship on crisis management, the authors provide a commentary on the mediated spectacle of White’s (eventually successful) efforts to promote UFC 249 during the pandemic. Drawing from numerous media sources, they discuss how White sought to control the public narrative in several key ways. The authors further explore how White decried the seriousness of the pandemic while centralizing the UFC’s place in the U.S. sporting landscape. Finally, the authors discuss how White’s efforts might both help and hinder the UFC as a mainstream sports promotion.
Christoph G. Grimmer and Edward M. Kian
This article examines German print sport journalists’ perceptions, experiences, and relationships with Bundesliga clubs’ public relations (PR) staffers and each club’s designated press spokesperson, as well the impact of a competitive, multitier 21st-century media environment on their jobs. All Bundesliga clubs are now disseminating more multimedia content on their own through official Web sites and social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Meanwhile, the German newspaper industry is in a state of transformation and decreased prominence among mediums in German sport journalism. A survey of print journalists who cover Bundesliga clubs showed that these changes have affected the historic symbiotic relationship between the sporting press and Bundesliga clubs. Power and media autonomy have increased for Bundesliga clubs and their designated press spokespersons, while print reporters are more dependent on the clubs’ PR staffers to provide access. The surveyed journalists recognize the increasing power of television in German sport journalism, but nearly half do not consider this as negative for their jobs. These print sport journalists are called on to find new ways and types of media content to begin restoring the needed balance in a symbiotic relationship between independent press and PR, while also distinguishing their work from televised media content.