Journalists and Olympic athletes: a Norwegian case study of ambivalent relationship

Article English OPEN
Kristiansen, Elsa ; Hanstad, Dag Vidar (2012)
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics
  • Journal: (issn: 1936-3915)
  • Subject: Olympic Winter Games | :Social science: 200::Social science in sports: 330 [VDP] | personal relationship | Vancouver 2010 | media stress | coping

© 2012 Human Kinetics This case study explores the relationship between media and sport. More specifically, it examines the association (i.e., the contact and communication) between Norwegian journalists and athletes during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. Ten athletes and three journalists were interviewed about their relationship. To regulate and improve the journalist–athlete relationship during special events like the Olympics, media rules have been formulated. In regard to the on-site interactions, they accepted that they are working together where one was performing and the other reporting the event “back home.” While the best advice is to be understanding of the journalists’ need for stories and inside information, the media coverage was perceived as a constant stress factor for the athletes. However, because of the media rules the athletes were able to keep their distance but one athlete did comment: “You will not survive if you take it personally.”
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