Complicity and Sports Journalism

Bradshaw, Tom ORCID: 0000-0003-0780-416X (2023) Complicity and Sports Journalism. In: The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Media Ethics. Routledge Handbooks in Applied Ethics . Routledge, pp. 169-180. ISBN 9780367682156

[img] Text
13670 Bradshaw (2023)- Complicity and Sports Journalism.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 12 May 2025. (Publisher Embargo).
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (239kB)


The extent to which sports journalists’ close relationship with their subjects and sources has made them complicit in enabling those subjects to achieve their economic and reputational goals is an enduring ethical concern in sports journalism (Boyle 2006a; Bradshaw and Minogue 2020). Critics accuse sports journalists of lacking a critical distance (Hardin, Zhong and Whiteside 2009) and being “cheerleaders” rather than watchdogs (Rowe 2007). This chapter analyses the issue of sports journalism complicity through the lens of self-censorship, using a standpoint of Kantian moral reasoning and semi-structured interviews with UK-based sports journalists to understand the ways in which sports media information flows are compromised. Different categories of complicit coverage are identified, including the alleged phenomenon of sportswashing. Means by which complicit reporting can be mitigated are discussed, with the role of ‘Fifth Estate’ non-professional bloggers considered in this regard. This chapter is a contribution to the growing body of literature aimed at highlighting the multiplicity of ways in which information flows in sports media can be inhibited, compromised and curtailed by journalists’ relationships with the professional sports organisations, events and individuals they are covering.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: complicity; sports journalism; sportswashing; Kant; Fifth Estate
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2024 16:06
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2024 16:15

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.