Sport plays a significant role in cultural life. The tide of its mass growth in popularity has always been intensely covered in the press but now sportsmen and in particular footballers are under scrutiny like never before. Every look, step, night out and relationship is portrayed through a journalist's view to its mass audience.
"You might well be a professional but things happen. You might see a great game of football, which might have one incident in the game. You pick up the paper the next day and all the media have picked up on and blown up out of all proportion is that incident."
(Ian Wright speaking to Alan Hansen)
There is a lot of truth based in Ian Wright's words as this global phenomenon, football and in general sport can now be found not only, as traditionally on the back pages but now quite as easily spread across the front page of every tabloid newspaper in England.
The growing professionalism of sport and the greatly increased financial rewards, have together produced greater pressure for dedication and commitment. The tabloidisation of the press has allowed for an erosion of the clear division between public and private spheres. This in turn has made 'a great deal of sports journalism self reflexive and rooted in gossip.' This greater visibility, along with the mystery posed by celebrities, 'what are they really like,' in turn fuels a public desire to know. (Media Sport Stars p59) The media as a point of appeal in celebrity profiles can address this but there is a very thin line between going too far and telling the people what they need to hear.
For one to start to discuss whether serious sports reporting is dead we must first understand whether delving into a sportsman's privacy, constitutes...