Facing Irregularities in Sport: Whistleblowing and Watchdog Journalism. The Romanian Case

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Mass-media is often called „the guard dog of society” due to its role in alerting the population when an issue is identified and this aspect is feasible also in sports media. This research analyses the media’s roles, responsibilities and its relationship with whistleblowers. The main focus of this presentation is on methods used by journalists in order to identify and research sensitive subjects such as corruption, doping and other cases of harmful irregularities in sport. Based on interviews with journalists from Romania, using a qualitative interpretation of their speech, it will be possible to see behind the façade of the journalist-sources relationship. „How could we increase the rate of investigations and the number of whistleblowers in sport?” is a central question of this research. The study examines also how to ensure a more critical approach to the task of exploring the influences in Romanian sports and in what manner this case could be framed in the global context. It helps to understand the potential of sports communication and educational journalism to influence in a positive manner the dynamics of reporting everyday issues and eruptive scandals in sport. An inquiring and sceptical media could help more to enhance transparency and encourage other sports stars or sports people to take action.

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