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Dagspress, sport och doping: medieskandaler i ett samtida Sverige
Lunds universitet.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study analyses how the Swedish press dealt with doping and transgressions of the doping rules within international professional sports between 1996 and 2004. The empirical material consists of articles on nineteen cases of doping from 1996 to 2004. A quantitative content analysis of 969 articles is used to study media coverage during the first fourteen days after each doping case came to light. Five of the cases are considered media scandals and 121 articles about these cases are studied in two other text analyses focusing mainly on themes and intertextuality.

The analysis shows that the daily press primarily write about doping transgressions on the sports pages and that these offenses are mostly handled as occurrences within the sports domain. It is very common for the actors in the texts to represent different areas of the sports domain. Many more men than women feature in the texts, both as actors and as writers.

The transgression is described as cheating, as something shameful and as something that damages the transgressor’s career and reputation. Doping is seen as something that is hurtful to sports in several ways. Doping is also treated as an unwelcome but realistic part of professional sports today. The transgressior is sometimes described as a fallen star and the whole story is sometimes deconstructed and described as a “good story”. The audience is mostly portrayed as deceived by the transgressor. Doping is sometimes seen as an expression of segments of society that are liberal on drugs and as an expression of a sports culture in certain countries. It is not so common to describe doping as a threat to human identity.

The explanations given as reasons for doping reveal five common themes. First, it is explained as an expression of today’s society with segments that are liberal on drugs, biochemical developments and an honouring of achievements. Secondly, it is also seen as an expression of the premise that elite sports are characterized by financial interests and a demand for achievements. Third, doping is described as a part of the morality of elite sports and is sometimes seen as an expression of a doping culture within a sports culture in specific countries. Four, doping is seen as something that athletes resort to in order to stage a comeback or to be able to continue to perform at top level at the end of their sports careers. Fifth, the sportification is sometimes seen as lacking. Actions taken against doping are said to be insufficient and the rules against doping are described as unclear. Other less common themes featured include medicine, psychology, gender, media and the lack of nurturing in sport.

The ideas mentioned as solutions to occurrences of doping reveal four common themes. First, there is support for the sportification process, which involves support for actions against doping and for an intensification of these actions. Second, clearer rules against doping are sought. The most commonly held view is that doping should continue to be forbidden. Third, the penalty for breaking the rules against doping is discussed. The most commonly heald view is that doping should continue to be forbidden and that it should result in some sort of penalty within the sports domain.  Fourth, the issue of responsibility is discussed. The transgressor and other actors involved are seen to be responsible for their acts, but the texts also reveal ideas that the responsibility taken should be broadened and involve other actors as well. Another, less common, theme concern finances. There are suggestions that the allotment of money within sports should be changed and that transgressions of the doping rules should result in financial penalties.

Some of the articles have certain inner structural aspects. First, three types of intertextual characteristics in particular can be found in the texts. The texts are related to other media texts, to other arenas and to other athletes that are associated with doping. Second, some concepts are introduced in the thesis to describe techniques to extend the texts and to describe how the transgressor is positioned in relation to other transgressors.

Media scandals are useful when investigating norms since they can be seen as an occasion when socially constructed public morality might be intensified, negotiated or challenged. By studying media scandals we can gain in-depth insights into our society.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Department of Media, Communication and Journalism, Lund University , 2009. , p. 250
Series
Lund Studies in Media and Communication, ISSN 1104-4330
Keywords [en]
media analysis, sports journalism, scandal, doping, media sport
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media Studies and Journalism, Media and Communication Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hik:diva-2748ISBN: 978-91-628-7979-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hik-2748DiVA, id: diva2:296981
Public defence
2010-02-12, Kulturens auditorium, Lund, 00:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-09-03 Created: 2010-02-18 Last updated: 2015-03-24Bibliographically approved

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Hamqvist, Sara

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Citation style
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