Practices and Challenges of Sport News Reporting in Ethiopia: The Case of Some Selected Newspapers and Broadcast Media

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of this particular research is to study the practices and challenges of sport news reporting in some broadcast and newspaper media channels. Thus, professionalization paradigm has been used as a theoretical framework. The study was employing both qualitative and quantitative research methods. More specifically, the researcher conducted content analyses in order to evaluate the practices of sport news reporting and to explore its challenges particularly related to ethical issues both in broadcast and newspaper media channels. So, 365 sport news stories have been analyzed from four selected media channels (EBC, Shegger FM, Addis Zemen and Reporter newspapers). Similarly, face-to-face interview and Focus Group Discussion was used as a data gathering tool to obtain in-depth opinions and viewpoints of the target populations (33 respondents). Accordingly, the findings of both content analysis and the qualitative data gathered through interview and Focus Group Discussion revealed that the media institutions emphasized on global sport news rather than local sport development activities. Particularly journalists preferred to report the results of sport competitions including the European leagues. Hence in those in~estigated media, the contributions of sport for political, economic and social change have been remained untouched. Even sport journalists did not show the emotions and reactions of the sport fans, athletes, coaches and other sport professionals in the stadiums during the sport competitions. As far as this research is concerned, freedom of the press is relatively assured in the practices of sport news writing although most of the time journalists have inclined to provide event oriented news reports to the general public instead of developing the cultures of investigative reporting in the professions of sport news writing. The management personnel of those selected media channels also gave less attention for sport news. Thus it has been never treated equally with other areas of reporting such as politics, business and health even though the media institutions used it as a means to generate abundant profits. In addition to this, lack of iriformation; perking (receiving free services and gifts from sources); lack of financial, material and human resources; low attention from different stakeholders including government; and the indirect pressures of the sport fans and news sources have challenged the practices of sport news reporting in Ethiopia. Moreover, the trend of sport journalists and media channels to be abided by the ethical principles of journalism is not as such developed Accordingly, mqjorities of the news stories have been provided to the audiences with different shortcomings i.e. without news sources (attribution); using inappropriate sources; using one-sided information instead of entertaining the view points of both sides. The media Q institutions should give great emphasis to sport news like other areas of reporting and allocate the required resources to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency. Besides, the sport sector governing body (FDRE Sport Commission and different Federations), government, higher education institutions and other concerned bodies have to pay attention to make the sport news more vibrant and should provide financial, material and technical supports to solve its challenges as well as to build the capacities of sport news journalists. The editorial policies of each media channel ought to also incorporate the issues of sport news reporting and govern sport journalists by the ethical principles of news. Furthermore, sport journalists should be proud of their professions (sport news) and struggle about sport news to be considered as more significant areas of reporting.



Sport News Reporting in Ethiopia