Xavier Ramon defends his PhD thesis on ethics and quality of information in the coverage of the London 2012 Olympics

News 1 year ago


On May 20th, the CEO-UAB researcher and professor at the UPF Department of Communication defended his doctoral dissertation “Sports journalism ethics and quality of information. The coverage of the London 2012 Olympics in the British, American and Spanish press”, supervised by Dr. Salvador Alsius Clavera. The committee was formed by Dr. Mònica Figueras (Pompeu Fabra University), Dr. Emilio Fernández Peña (Autonomous University of Barcelona), and Dr. Raymond Boyle (University of Glasgow). The thesis obtained the qualification of Cum Laude.

The dissertation has examined to what extent six prestigious newspapers –The Guardian/The Observer and The Daily Telegraph/The Sunday Telegraph (United Kingdom); The New York Times and The Washington Post (United States of America); and El País and La Vanguardia (Spain) complied with the fundamental principles of journalism ethics (truth, justice and responsibility) in their coverage of the London 2012 Olympics. The content analysis of 6,552 pieces, their correlation with the major codes of ethics, and the conduct of 41 interviews revealed that in many areas the coverage dispelled the long-held notion of sports journalism being the “toy department”. Significant strengths include the wide range of sources employed, the comprehensive examination of the larger framework of the Olympics, the recognition of errors and the fight against discrimination. Despite all of this, the research highlights that in other core aspects, the diversity of the sporting agenda, sensationalism, stereotyping and the use of warlike language, for example, there is much room for improvement.


During his doctoral studies, Xavier Ramon has been a visiting researcher at the University of Glasgow, University of Alabama and the IOC Olympic Studies Centre. The latter visit was possible thanks to the “OSC PhD Students Research Grant 2014”, which allowed Xavier to conduct a project focused on the intersection between journalism ethics and Olympic values in the London 2012 coverage by the international press. In September 2014, he also participated in the 21st Postgraduate Seminar in Olympic Studies.

Dr. José Luis Rojas, professor at University of Seville, has published a review of the dissertation in the weblog “Periodismo Deportivo de Calidad”.