Special issue of The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture devoted to sports journalists

Gerry Lanosga's picture

Editor's note: This announcement is re-posted from AEJMC's open forum listserv.

A special edition of The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture Journal (The IJPC Journal) has been published featuring the first comprehensive study of the image of the sports journalist in popular culture including film, television and fiction. It features contributions from some of the world's foremost scholars on sports media and on journalism's image in popular culture. 

"Sports have long been an important window into our society, with popular culture regularly featuring the sports journalist as a prominent character. Sports reporters and writers in movies, novels, television, and other popular media have not been much different from their "straight news" counterparts, although their venue has made them unique," write the editors in an introduction to Volume 10 of The IJPC Journal. "There have been syndicated sports columnists who do anything to get an exclusive, including using blackmail and payoffs. But the majority of sportswriter characters simply have gone out and done their jobs. Some have been heroic in ferreting out corruption in sports, risking public animosity. Most often they have been used as realistic dressing for biographies of sports personalities."

Dan Durbin, Annenberg professor of communication and director of the Institute of Sports, Media and Society at the University of Southern California, identifies the most common ways in which films have depicted sports journalists, including sportswriters serving as "Greek chorus" characters and real-life sports journalists playing themselves on screen.

Ben Carrington, widely regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on the sociology of race, politics and popular culture, and an associate professor at USC Annenberg, examines the image of the Black sports journalist and how Black sports journalists have been ignored or forgotten in real life as well as in popular culture. 

Donna Halper, associate professor at Leslie University in Cambridge, MA, draws on her scholarly expertise in gender, sports, and media to analyze how popular culture has depicted the female sports journalist.

Alan Tomlinson,  Emeritus Professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Brighton, UK, who for many years has researched the social history and sociology of sports, leisure, and popular culture, focuses on the image of the sports journalist in novels.

Chad Painter, assistant professor of Communication at University of Dayton studies the portrayal of sports journalists in such television series as "Sports Night," "The Odd Couple," and "Everybody Loves Raymond."  

Julianna Kirschner, lecturer in the School of Communication, looks at the television series "Ted Lasso" and its sportswriter character Trent Crimm, who over the show's first two seasons has evolved from an adversarial character into a more sympathetic one. 

Also included are Brock Adams of Weber State University (an analysis of the film Blue Chips) and James Cartee is a PhD. student in Communication at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville (an analysis of the movie, Iron Will).

Jeff Fellenzer, an associate professor of professional practices at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism with more than three decades of experience in sports media, interviews Ron Shelton, the writer-director of such classic sports films as "Bull Durham" on how he believes the movies have portrayed sportswriters. 

This edition was edited by IJPC Journal Editors Laura Castañeda, professor of professional practices at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. And Richard R. Ness, associate professor at Western Illinois University.  

The IJPC Journal is accepting manuscripts on any aspect of the image of the journalist or public relations practitioner.  Please e-mail Joe Saltzman, professor of communications and journalism and director of the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture for more information at saltzman@usc.edu 

Joe Saltzman, Professor of Journalism and Communication
Director, Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture (IJPC), a project of the Norman Lear Center

Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
University of Southern California

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