Sports journalism has been characterized by a series of ethical deficiencies that have challenged the normative standards of the profession. These widespread questionable practices include the blurring of the frontiers between journalistic genres; the pervasiveness of rumour; sensationalism; the use of warlike language; the inequalities in relation to gender, race and disability and the lack of variation in the news sources employed. All these ethical shortcomings have diminished the credibility of the professionals working in the sports journalism field. To address these ethical shortcomings, sports journalists must gain awareness of their accountability to answer for their practice to society at large. Accountability instruments can play an invaluable role in offering guidance and helping journalists and users monitor and criticize the quality of sports content. Thus far, the majority of studies on accountability have focused on the description of traditional and innovative tools but no study to date has provided a map of the existing instruments in sports journalism. To fill this gap, the objective of this investigation has been to identify and analyse the most relevant accountability instruments in sports journalism. The fieldwork consisted of monitoring the internet during a timeframe of 18 months (October 2015 ¿ March 2017) to locate the most relevant instruments in the field. Once these were identified, the researchers proceeded to examine them using the qualitative content analysis technique. Among the instruments that have been implemented within companies, we highlight the ones produced inside the media (inhouse stylebooks promoted by major sports media, recommendations for sports journalists in news agencies and general information outlets, ombudsmen and online chats), and instruments produced outside media companies (external codes, recommendations issued by key stakeholders in the world of sport, the largest publications related to media criticism, as well as several scholars¿ and citizens¿ blogs).All these instruments are compiled on the platform ¿Accountable Sports Journalism¿.
Rojas Torrijos, José Luis; Ramon-Vegas, Xavier. Accountable Sports Journalism: Creating a Gateway to Showcase Ethical Codes, Stylebooks, Ombudsmen and Beyond. Athens Journal of Sports 2018; 5(4): 351-368.