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(Credit: Center for Journalism Ethics)

What is the role of ethics in sports journalism?

That question will be addressed at the upcoming journalism ethics conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, held April 10 by the school’s Center for Journalism Ethics.

This year’s conference, the seventh annual, is titled “Fair or Foul: Ethics and Sports Journalism.” ESPN’s ombudsman Robert Lipsyte is the keynote speaker.

Prof. Robert E. Drechsel, the James E. Burgess Chair & Director for the Center for Journalism Ethics told iMediaEthics by e-mail that “The conference runs from 8:30 to 4:30 on Friday, April 10.”  Attendees must register, which you can do online here.

According to the university’s Center for Journalism Ethics’s press release on the conference, sent to iMediaEthics by Dreschel, panels will include “the ethics of investigating sports; criticism and vitriol in sports journalism; race, gender and sexuality in sports coverage [and] ethical issues in covering high school sports.”

Drechsel said the center plans to live-stream the event online.

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Sports journalism ethics has been in the news, the center noted, pointing to the leaked tape of Donald Sterling making racist remarks, the coverage of Ray Rice, and ESPN suspending Bill Simmons last fall.

In addition to the ethics discussion, the center will name the winner of its 2015 Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics.  The center announced five finalists this month: Fox 31 Denver, the Chicago Tribune, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, ProPublica and the Tulsa World.

The award was re-named in Shadid’s honor in 2013, as iMediaEthics previously wrote, and made a national award. Shadid died in 2012 in Syria from “what appeared to be an asthma attack” while “on assignment for the [New York] Times.” The award was previously known as the Wisconsin Commitment to Journalism Ethics.

“While the world often focuses on journalistic sins, we were impressed with the thought and care these organizations gave to serving the public interest responsibly,” Jack Mitchell said in a press release from the university. Mitchell is chair of the Shadid Award selection committee and professor emeritus at the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Panelists at the sympoisium include sports writers and professors such as New York Times Pulitzer-winning reporter Walt Bogdanich, NBC Sports senior vice president for communications Greg Hughes, USA Today Sports managing editor Mary Byrne, and ESPN Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers reporter Jason Wilde, among others.


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When Sports Journalism Runs Foul, Ethics Conference April 10

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