Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Poll Finds 40% of Sports Reporters Gamble on Sports

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Poll Finds 40% of Sports Reporters Gamble on Sports

Article excerpt

Forty percent of sports reporters admitted in a recent survey to gambling on sports, while 5% said they had bet on sports they had covered.

In addition, those who gamble on sports were more likely than their non-gambling colleagues to admit that gambling hurts objectivity in coverage, according to the study.

The telephone survey, conducted by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State University, polled 285 reporters whocover sports for newspapers and their Web sites, according to a release.

The report added that gambling on sports by reporters who cover them is banned by the ethics codes of some news organizations, including The New York Times, because of the potential conflict of interest.

"What was most interesting was the admission by reporters who gamble on sports that it likely influences the ways they covered stories," Marie Hardin, associate director of research for the Center for Sports Journalism, said in a statement. "That's exactly the reason why it's considered a no-no by some ethicists and editors."

The survey, "Sports Coverage: Toy Department or Public-Service Journalism," was conducted by Hardin, an associate professor of communications; Bu Zhong, assistant professor of communications; and doctoral candidate Erin Whiteside. …

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