As a slight detour from PhD research, I delved into the increasingly unavoidable world of fan produced digital football media.

After kindly being asked to produce an article for the International Journal of Communication Ethics, I set about locating founders of three of the longest established and most prominent fan produced digital football media platforms in the UK:

Robbie Lyle at Arsenal Fan TV (AFTV); Mark Goldbridge of The United Stand; Gareth Roberts of The Anfield Wrap.

Conducting semi-structured interviews with each, it was compelling listening to discover the motivations behind each platform, exploring themes including suspicion of and dissatisfaction with mainstream sports journalism, democratising voices, adoption of and innovating with digital technologies and, as the title of the article suggests, the glocalisation of fan culture.

The following abstract outlines key themes of the article and summary of findings:


This paper will examine the emergence of fan-produced digital platforms and their position in the football media landscape in what has become an increasingly competitive environment for audience share. The growing prominence of digital fan media comes at a time when digitisation has seen a shift in production techniques and changing consumption habits while enabling new voices to be heard. This has contributed to the redefinition of the relationship between content producers and users that is challenging some of football’s traditional reporting practice (Randles 2022). A dissatisfaction with mainstream media can see parallels drawn with the fanzine counter-culture of the mid to late 80’s in what Boyle (2006: 142) describes as ‘a long tradition of dissent’ with fan communities moving online. A lack of confidence in football journalism to provide deeper enquiry has provided an opportunity for fan content producers to react to the perceived failings of professional coverage while enhancing their own prestige and authority (McEnnis 2022). Exploring areas including the digital transformation of the sports media environment, the paper will draw on findings from interviews with founders of prominent digital fan media platforms to discuss how new technologies have empowered fan voice while challenging the professional identity of football journalists. 

*The accepted version of the full article can be found and downloaded HERE

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