© 2019

Football and Sexual Crime, from the Courtroom to the Newsroom

Transforming Narratives


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Deb Waterhouse-Watson
    Pages 1-13
  3. Deb Waterhouse-Watson
    Pages 15-60
  4. Deb Waterhouse-Watson
    Pages 93-138
  5. Deb Waterhouse-Watson
    Pages 139-173
  6. Deb Waterhouse-Watson
    Pages 175-216
  7. Deb Waterhouse-Watson
    Pages 217-226
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 227-235

About this book


This book interrogates the process of court reporting on rape and other sexual crime cases involving Australian footballers. At the intersection of sport, gender, media and the law, it uncovers the story behind rape myths and stereotypes in media. This book analyses newspaper reporting alongside transcripts of the trials they represent and interviews with the journalists themselves. Waterhouse-Watson’s work maps structural factors within newsrooms, and the complex relationship between the judiciary and media, that affect the practice of court reporting. This book approaches key journalism concepts like objectivity and balance critically, illustrating the layers of mediation that surround a complainant’s testimony; the way sport shapes the meaning of courtroom and media narratives in these cases; and the tension between racism and sexism when race is thematised or otherwise highlighted. Ultimately, the book proposes an ethics of court reporting that protects individual complainants, as well as advancing public understandings of the crime.


Sexual assault Football AFL Sports Journalism Sexism in Sport Rugby

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Independent scholarMelbourneAustralia

About the authors

Deb Waterhouse-Watson is an independent scholar whose research is at the intersection of sport, sexual violence, law and the media. She has held research and teaching positions at Monash University, Deakin University and Macquarie University, Australia, and is the author of Athletes, Sexual Assault and ‘Trials by Media’: Narrative Immunity (2013).

Bibliographic information


“Waterhouse-Watson offers powerful insights into how familiar, gendered myths about sexual assault and rape are evoked and navigated by reporters and newsrooms. Her significant contribution is highly recommended for journalism practitioners and researchers who want to help make news coverage of sexual assault more constructive for complainants and communities, and more representative of the crime.” (Lisa Waller, Professor of Digital Communication, RMIT University, Australia)