Throughout January and February 2024, TOHIF team members visited Sky Sports Studios in London to deliver three workshops on the risks and impacts of online harms for sports journalists. The workshops featured the TOHIF team speaking to a wide range of Sky staff, from production to on-air reporters to department heads, about the issues faced by the industry at large and opening discussions to potential solutions and the challenges to achieving those solutions.

The sessions synthesised previous research into the relationship between sports journalism and online harms, as well as drawing from the original research that TOHIF has conducted into this area. Case studies – drawn from high profile instances of journalists speaking about the online abuse they had suffered, and from interviews with journalists conducted by TOHIF researchers – outlined the nature of the online harms suffered by sports journalists.

The sessions also offered the opportunity for Sky journalists to discuss their own – and colleagues’ – experiences of online harms, and to outline the emotional and professional impacts it had. In light of the material outlined by the TOHIF researchers, this set their struggle in the context of the challenges faced by the industry as a whole. Furthermore, the sessions invited attendees to discuss potential solutions to the problem, opening up a forum for intra-organisational discussion of how Sky handles the risks and ramifications of online harms experienced by their staff. It also provided TOHIF researchers with the opportunity to gain new insights into the issue from those at the forefront of it.

Look out for a further blog post in the near future, outlining some of the key insights gathered in these workshops.