DS0802 - Inégalités, discriminations, intégration

Social responsibility of Journalists: Media, Diversity and Sport. – RSJ-MéDiS

Social responsibility of Journalists : Media, Diversity and Sport

Project RSJ-MéDIS

Project summary

The injunction to integrate the issue of diversity in the medias is due to a building process with numerous aspects corresponding to strategic and ideological choices emanating from NGOs, supra national authorities (UNESCO, the Council of Europe), regulation agencies (CSA) or media companies. Those choices involve collectively or individually a form of social responsibility which needs to be made understandable. Our study focuses on one topic: sport, which is, by social construction, the symbolical domain for the realization of democratic ideals and where diversity is made visible. This is the case for athletics, which we have chosen as a support for our analysis. However, it is also a field where discrimination emerges (sex, gender, homophobia, ethnic) thus impeding this model. The meetings, interviews and discussions we have had with sport journalists show that the issue of the social responsibility of journalists (SRJ) is a matter of the unthought, which needs to be defined. Despite the fact that sport holds a significant position in the social space, sport journalists often struggle to be considered as genuine news professionals as if it « tainted by cultural illegitimacy » (Diana, 2004) Paradoxically, we witness an assumed position of the sport journalist as a voluntary actor defending the virtues of sport, in charge of its legitimation and preservation, for education, integration, well being, health or in order to fight discriminations. By automatically using commonplace assertions, sport journalists sometimes contradict this stance leading to a stigmatization of differences. It comes down to questioning the inns and outs of social responsibility, collective and individual, of sport journalists in order to surpass the invocation of helplessness and/or search for culprits pointing an accusing finger at the medias.

Through the analysis of the logics behind the making of sport news, the purpose we assign to this study is to contribute to define, with its actors, innovative ways and means for the regulation of a profession by privileging the act of taking their assumed responsibilities and looking for groundbreaking means to solve crisis, a posture resolutely forward looking. Indeed, mediatized sport allows us to question the social responsibility of journalists. It is, to our minds, a relevant laboratory due to the importance of sport events in the medias and because of the audience it generates.
Our project comes in three tasks aimed at making interact, first of all the communicational framework defined by a set of standards and of professional requirements, by integrating the issue of diversity. Secondly, we will strive to identify in what way the framework structures behaviors. Finally, the study of the discursive act carried out must endeavor to analyze media productions, and thus, the supposed effects of speech. It is through the interaction of those three tasks that the question of SRJ is being built.
Our study will aim at France Televisions because of its public service role, our main material being the analysis of the track and field events of the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2017 Athletics World Championships in London.
Our study is based upon a dominant disciplinary base made up of the sciences of information and communication and its interactions with the sciences and techniques of physical activities and sport as well as the sciences of languages on the basis of a collaboration that has already proven effective between l’UMR PACTE (UMR 5194), le CRAPE (UMR 6051), Praxiling (UMR 5267 CNRS), Geriico (EA 4073) et l’URePSSS (EA 4110).

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The injunction to integrate the issue of diversity in the medias is due to a building process with numerous aspects corresponding to strategic and ideological choices emanating from NGOs, supra national authorities (UNESCO, the Council of Europe), regulation agencies (CSA) or media companies. Those choices involve collectively or individually a form of social responsibility which needs to be made understandable. Our study focuses on one topic: sport, which is, by social construction, the symbolical domain for the realization of democratic ideals and where diversity is made visible. This is the case for athletics, which we have chosen as a support for our analysis. However, it is also a field where discrimination emerges (sex, gender, homophobia, ethnic) thus impeding this model. The meetings, interviews and discussions we have had with sport journalists show that the issue of the social responsibility of journalists (SRJ) is a matter of the unthought, which needs to be defined. Despite the fact that sport holds a significant position in the social space, sport journalists often struggle to be considered as genuine news professionals as if it « tainted by cultural illegitimacy »(Diana, 2004) Paradoxically, we witness an assumed position of the sport journalist as a voluntary actor defending the virtues of sport, in charge of its legitimation and preservation, for education, integration, well being, health or in order to fight discriminations. By automatically using commonplace assertions, sport journalists sometimes contradict this stance leading to a stigmatization of differences. It comes down to questioning the inns and outs of social responsibility, collective and individual, of sport journalists in order to surpass the invocation of helplessness and/or search for culprits pointing an accusing finger at the medias.
Through the analysis of the logics behind the making of sport news, the purpose we assign to this study is to contribute to define, with its actors, innovative ways and means for the regulation of a profession by privileging the act of taking their assumed responsibilities and looking for groundbreaking means to solve crisis, a posture resolutely forward looking. Indeed, mediatized sport allows us to question the social responsibility of journalists.
It is, to our minds, a relevant laboratory due to the importance of sport events in the medias and because of the audience it generates.
Our project comes in three tasks aimed at making interact, first of all the communicational framework defined by a set of standards and of professional requirements, by integrating the issue of diversity. Secondly, we will strive to identify in what way the framework structures behaviors. Finally, the study of the discursive act carried out must endeavor to analyze media productions, and thus, the supposed effects of speech. It is through the interaction of those three tasks that the question of SRJ is being built.
Our study will aim at France Televisions because of its public service role, our main material being the analysis of the track and field events of the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2017 Athletics World Championships in London.
Our study is based upon a dominant disciplinary base made up of the sciences of information and communication and its interactions with the sciences and techniques of physical activities and sport as well as the sciences of languages on the basis of a collaboration that has already proven effective between l’UMR PACTE (UMR 5194), le CRAPE (UMR 6051), Praxiling (UMR 5267 CNRS), Geriico (EA 4073) et l’URePSSS (EA 4110).

Project coordinator

Monsieur Fabien Wille (MESHS - Unité de recherche pluridisciplinaire Sport, Santé, Société)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

PACTE UMR5194 Politiques publiques, ACtion politique, Territoires
MESHS - URePSSS EA4110 MESHS - Unité de recherche pluridisciplinaire Sport, Santé, Société
CRAPE UMR6051 Centre de Recherche sur l'Action Politique en Europe CRAPE

Help of the ANR 198,506 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2015 - 24 Months

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