Investigative Journalism Plea Expected from Sports Writer

A sports journalist famously banned from attending press conferences hosted by Sepp Blatter – the head of football's world governing body, FIFA – is expected to criticise newspapers for doing too little investigative journalism at a speech he is giving at the University of Stirling. 

Says Andrew Jennings, ahead of his speech on the 18th of next month: “We, as journalists, are supposed to work for the public and I can remember when the tabloids didn't fill their pages with two-bit celebrities, but with turning over crime and exposing corruption.”

Jennings is the author of Olympic Games (The Lords of the Rings) and FIFA (Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-rigging and Ticket Scandals).

He continued: “I did a programme about FIFA which had three million viewers, yet there was hardly a whisper in the newspapers. Their sports departments are like an articulated lorry being towed behind the main body of the paper. It's now left solely up to programmes like Panorama to expose corruption.”

Jennings is speaking as part of the university's 2009/10 Research Seminars and Lectures in Sport series. 

He added: “I started out at an alternative newspaper with nothing. We had no resources, so it was up to us to find the story. More and more journalists are losing their jobs and this might actually mean they go on their own in search of the story. And nowadays you don't even need a printing press – just set up a website and you are away.”

For more information, email karen.caldwell@stir.ac.uk or contact Karen Caldwell on 01786 466498.