Study on Manti Te'o story published in sports comm journal

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A little news update: I’m very honored to announce that a study Carol Liebler, my advisor and colleague at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, conducted over the summer has been published in the most recent issue of the International Journal of Communication and Sport.

Dr. Liebler and I studied the response of journalists and media critics to the Manti Te’o fake-girlfriend story, looking to see how they explained how this story got told, through the lens of news repair. In a nutshell, we found that reporters’ work routines were cited as the primary cause for Te’o’s story getting told and retold as truth, even though it wasn’t true. We also found that, for the most part, reporters and media observers were not very self-critical in their coverage. They tended to blame others, rather than themselves, for the mistake.

I believe this is one of the first - if not the first - study published about the Te’o story.

The article was published in a special edition of the IJSC dealing with 21st century sports communications professionals. My thanks to Dr. Liebler, who served as first author and did much of the heavy lifting on this article, to the Newhouse School, for supporting our research over the summer, and to guest editor Ted Kian from Oklahoma State for the chance to publish our findings.