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South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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More than a festival: analysing opinion-forming sports journalists’ perceptions of olympism and the olympic movement

Rory Flindall, Stephan Wassong

Abstract


This study analysed the perceptions of seven international opinion-forming sports journalists on Olympism and the Olympic Movement. Utilising in-depth semi-structured interviews, discussions were held on the themes of Olympism, the Olympic Movement, Olympism-associated initiatives, training for journalists and the participants’ own media portrayals and perceptions of the broader media’s depiction of the Olympic Movement. The interviews were transcribed verbatim using the GAT-2 minimal transcriptional style and analysed with the qualitative analysis style of content structuring of Mayring. Journalists’ perceptions of this research topic have not yet been investigated. Five research questions were formulated based on the literature review. The key findings included: (1) evidence emerged portraying Olympism as significant within society today; (2) the philosophy appeared to be a base on which to evaluate the Olympic Movement; (3) the participants demonstrated a positive stance towards the Olympic Movement; (4) the main priority regarding their work was to cover sporting matters; (5) the participants perceived their own reporting to be similar to that of the broader media. Based on these findings, recommendations for the IOC were formulated concerning media interactions. Finally, it was argued that future research encompassing all aspects of media production and consumption would benefit the comprehension of Olympic-related media dynamics.

Keywords: Journalists; Perceptions; Olympism; Olympic Movement; Media interactions.




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