Simon McEnnis

A comparative analysis of how regulatory codes inform broadcast and print sports journalists' work routines in the UK using Sky Sports News and the Sun as case studies

This paper aims to provide a comparative analysis of how regulatory codes influence the work routines of print and broadcast sports journalists in the UK. Sky Sports News 24-hour news channel and the Sun newspaper are used as case studies. The government-regulated broadcast industry interprets autonomy as independence from advertisers and sponsors. Regulation, therefore, creates challenges for broadcast journalists within a hyper-commercialised professional sports environment. Conversely, the press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) focuses on autonomy from government rather than business. Print sports journalists, therefore, lack autonomy from commercial pressures as media managers can exercise a degree of editorial control. This analysis examines sports journalism's fragmented professional culture while arguing that broadcast sports journalists' ethical conduct is more complex than has previously been acknowledged.

Keywords: sports journalism, regulation, the Sun, Sky Sports News, ethics


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Note on the contributor

Simon McEnnis is principal lecturer in journalism at the University of Brighton. Simon researches into sports journalism as a professional project. He is particularly interested in the increasing complexity and fragmentation of sports journalists as an occupational group. He also examines how sports journalists safeguard their professional interests, particularly on social media. Simon has contributed to special issues on sports journalism in the International Journal of Sport Communication and Digital Journalism and has made a series of contributions to the Conversation website. He has also presented at annual conferences hosted by the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) and the Association for Journalism Education (AJE).