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Football Misinformation Matrix: A Comparative Study of 2020 Winter Transfer News in Four European Sports Media Outlets

1
Departamento de Periodismo II, Facultad de Comunicación, Universidad de Sevilla, 41092 Sevilla, Spain
2
Department of Journalism, Campus Centro, Lutheran Institute of Santa Catarina, Joinville 89201-270, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andreu Casero-Ripollés
Journal. Media. 2021, 2(4), 625-640; https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia2040037
Received: 14 September 2021 / Revised: 10 October 2021 / Accepted: 14 October 2021 / Published: 20 October 2021
Mainstream sports media generate a football information overload that sometimes makes it difficult to separate rumours from real news. Accordingly, this paper analyses the level of misinformation in the coverage of the 2020 winter football transfer window in four leading European digital sports media outlets: Marca (Spain), A Bola (Portugal), La Gazzetta (Italy) and The Guardian Sport (Britain). The methodology used was based on the content analysis of hundreds of news pieces and tweets posted on these outlets’ football homepages and Twitter handles over a month. To examine to what extent this coverage may have been speculative, misleading or false, the misinformation matrix developed by the fact-checking organisation First Draft News was employed to classify five different types of inaccuracies in sports reporting. A system was also created to determine how many reported rumours finally turned out to be true, which sources were more reliable and what outlets resulted more accurate. The findings reveal that the four digital media published a larger amount of non-factual content about likely football deals rather than sealed transfers. Speculative reporting prevailed in the coverage of the top teams in each league, on which the media outlets placed the accent, whereas reporting about minor clubs was based more on factual news. View Full-Text
Keywords: sports journalism; football; transfer window; misinformation; rumours; ethics sports journalism; football; transfer window; misinformation; rumours; ethics
MDPI and ACS Style

Rojas Torrijos, J.L.; Mello, M.S. Football Misinformation Matrix: A Comparative Study of 2020 Winter Transfer News in Four European Sports Media Outlets. Journal. Media. 2021, 2, 625-640. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia2040037

AMA Style

Rojas Torrijos JL, Mello MS. Football Misinformation Matrix: A Comparative Study of 2020 Winter Transfer News in Four European Sports Media Outlets. Journalism and Media. 2021; 2(4):625-640. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia2040037

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rojas Torrijos, José L., and Matheus S. Mello. 2021. "Football Misinformation Matrix: A Comparative Study of 2020 Winter Transfer News in Four European Sports Media Outlets" Journalism and Media 2, no. 4: 625-640. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia2040037

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