Case Study

Case Study – “The Daily Beast Outing Athletes During the 2016 Rio Olympics
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Read the case study. Then click “Reply” to answer the questions located at the end of the reading. Be sure to number each response so that it will be easy to identify which question you are addressing. The Daily Beast Outing Athletes During the 2016 Rio Olympics
The Olympics are a time when the world’s best athletes can come together to compete against one another on a global stage. In 2016, athletes from 207 nations came together in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, to compete in the summer Olympics, the first time an Olympic Games had taken place on the South American continent. These Olympic Games had record-breaking media coverage, along with unparalleled digital engagement. There were more than 4 billion social media impressions recorded and 14.6 million Facebook fans (this was double the number of fans since the summer Olympics had taken place in London, in 2012) (International Olympic Committee 2016).New advances in technology have made it possible for millions of sport fans to communicate in real time about Olympic happenings, and this has created a pressure cooker for journalists to report and write about stories that appeal to the masses instantaneously. Anyone with access to a digital device and the Internet can uncover a story and report on it within minutes of the event taking place.In addition, accessibility to digital technology has allowed athletes to connect with one another and their fans through different social networking platforms and applications. During the 2016 Olympics, athletes were able to use these social networking applications for romantic purposes, with some logging on to online dating applications to find potential soulmates during their time in Rio.In 2016, Nico Hines, an American journalist from a news and opinion website called The Daily Beast, wrote an article about the Olympics titled “The Other Olympic Sport in Rio: Swiping.” The journalist created fake Tinder and Grindr accounts and logged on to discover which Olympic athletes were looking to connect. While the writer did not identify the athletes by name, he described their height, weight, nationality, and gave descriptions of their profile picture (Pallotta and McLean 2016).The publication immediately had backlash from many who were outraged at the unethical behavior of this journalist. People were principally concerned about the potential for harassment or worse against LGBTQ athletes who were outed on the dating application Grindr. Homosexuality is a criminal offense in more than 70 countries worldwide; some countries even have the death penalty for athletes who identify as gay or bisexual (DeJong and Long 2014).The article was taken down from the website, and the journalist issued an apology but remained in his position as a senior editor for the publication.

Nico Hines continued to stay with the publication and kept his job after issuing an apology. Based on your opinion, how should unethical behavior in the media be managed by the IOC in the future?
Elaborate on your opinion and give examples of how other governing bodies have addressed issues with media reporting.


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