Sports Media and Journalism

Professor Alan Tomlinson, Dr Lincoln Allison

In this module students will study the emergence of the specialist sporting press in Britain, the development of multimedia-based rivals to newsprint, and the predominant styles of writing about and reporting on sport in the UK and beyond. Particular themes and topics include doping, racism, sexism (in both sport and sport writing), investigative reportage on sports controversies, the media’s obsession with sporting celebrity, and the national and international contexts of reportage of sports mega-events (such as the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, and the FIFA World Cups). Set tasks will focus where appropriate upon the men’s football (soccer) World Cup in Brazil 2014, and the London Olympics of 2012. Students may also have the opportunity to see and experience first-hand, and write about, sports such as soccer and cricket. The module brings a critical and interrogative gaze to the world of media sport, and covers a wide variety of sports beyond mainstream male-dominated team games. The module will appeal to students with interests in practical journalism, as well as those from the academic areas of cross-cultural studies and globalization, media studies and associated social science and humanities disciplines. Teaching comprises 12 lectures and 8 seminars. You must read the selected readings in the module Reader as preparation for those seminars based upon collective discussion of selected sources.

Three books that will be referred to widely for follow-up reading are: Alan Tomlinson (ed), The Sport Studies Reader, London, Routledge, 2006; Rob Steen, Sports Journalism: A Multi-media Primer, London, Routledge, 2008; and Raymond Boyle, Sports Journalism: Context and Issues, London, Sage, 2006. Further sources will be disseminated as the module progresses. It is a fascinating time in which to take this module, with the upcoming football World Cups of Russia and Qatar, and the Summer Olympics of Brazil and Tokyo, as well as other international sports events, defying the global economic recession of recent years; and in the context of the digital transformation of forms of writing about and consuming sport.


  • Raymond Boyle, Sports Journalism: Context and Issues, London: Sage, 2006.
  • Rob Steen, Sports Journalism: A Multi-media Primer, London: Routledge, 2008.
  • Rod Brookes, Representing Sport, London: Arnold, 2002.
  • International Review for the Sociology of Sport Volume 27 Numbers 3-4, 2002 – special issue on ‘Sport in the Media and Cultural Industries’.
  • Mark Perryman (ed.) London 2012: How Was It for Us?, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2013.
  • David Rowe, Sport, Culture and the Media: The Unruly Trinity, Buckingham: Open University Press, 1999.
  • David Rowe, Global Media Sport: Flows, Forms and Futures, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2011.
  • John Sugden and Alan Tomlinson, ‘Stories from Planet Football and Sportsworld: Source Relations and Collusion in Sport Journalism, Journalism Practice Volume I Number 1, 2007.
  • Alan Tomlinson (ed.) The Sport Studies Reader, London: Routledge, 2006. Section 4 on the media.
  • Lawrence A. Wenner (ed.) MediaSport, London: Routledge, 1998.



Assessment comprises a two-hour seen examination paper, in which you will answer two from eight questions; a mid-term piece of writing on a topic of your choice, with a journalistic or academic focus as appropriate; and a full-term paper, developed from the mid-term piece or on a further topic as approved in consultation with the tutor. For students writing or researching on topics of particular currency, electronic publication of their writing will be encouraged.

Lecture Hours: 12 x 1 hour 15 minutes (total 15 hours)

Seminar Hours: 8 x 1 hour 15 minutes (total 10 hours)