Black, White and Read All Over: Institutional Racism and the Sports Media

By John Price, Neil Farrington, Daniel Kilvington and Amir Saeed.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Institutional racism can be present and perpetuated through the policies, procedures, cultures, and norms of institutions. This paper examines the issue of institutional racism in relation to the sports media, with particular focus on the written press in the UK. It identifies three key areas in which elements of institutional racism are to be found. First, it argues that regulatory practices, in the form of the Press Complaints Commission, have downplayed and ignored problems of discriminatory content in the media; second, that recruitment practices have led to a chronic lack of diversity within the sports journalism profession; and third, that damaging racial stereotypes persist in sports coverage. The paper draws on extensive empirical work conducted for the authors' recently published "Race, Racism and Sports Journalism" (published by Routledge, 2012). This combines analysis of media texts and interviews with athletes, journalists and campaigners. It concludes by offering recommendations for how the problem of institutional racism could be tackled through the training and education of sports journalists.

Keywords: Race, Racism, Media, Sports Journalism

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.81-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 360.687KB).

Dr. John Price

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK

Dr. John Price, a former journalist, is currently a senior lecturer of journalism and a programme leader for sports journalism at the University of Sunderland. He is co-author of the recent Race, Racism and Sports Journalism, published by Routledge. His research interests include constructions of race in the sports media, issues of diversity in journalism, and the impacts of social media on sport. His forthcoming publications examine the influence of Twitter on football and its reporting in the media. His PhD thesis and previous publications have analysed the production practices of journalists in reporting the EU.

Neil Farrington

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK

Neil Farrington is a senior lecturer of sports journalism at the University of Sunderland. Formerly, he worked for 18 years as a sports journalist and as sports news editor for NCJ Media Titles in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. He has been nominated seven times for Regional Sports Writer of the Year. His current research interests include constructions of race in the reporting of cricket and the impacts of social media on sports journalism. He is co-author of Race, Racism and Sports Journalism, published by Routledge.

Dr. Daniel Kilvington

Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK

Dr. Daniel Kilvington lectures in Media and Culture and Journalism at the University of Sunderland. He was awarded his PhD in January 2013 following three years of research into the exclusion of British Asians from English professional football. Dr Kilvington has delivered conference papers worldwide at Universities such as Melbourne and Vienna as well as Cambridge. He is co-author of ‘Race’, Racism and Sports Journalism, published by Routledge; while his new co-authored book, which examines racism and social media, is set for publication in 2014. His research interests are ‘race’, racism, identities, migration and social media.

Dr. Amir Saeed

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK

Dr. Amir Saeed is a researcher who is widely published on issues of ‘race’ and racisms and their mediated constructions in music and sport. Last year Dr. Saeed was invited by the United Nations to speak at an international conference on Islamophobia. He is on the editorial board of the journal Sociology Compass, and co-author of the recent Race, Racism and Sports Journalism, published by Routledge.