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53 authors from 17 different countries contributed to a special edition of “Sports & Politics” magazine on the life and journalism of Andrew Jennings, who died earlier this year. At the same time, the magazine offers a fascinating insight into the rise of sports politics journalism over the past 30 years.
In 2011, investigative journalists Andrew Jennings and Jens Weinreich were awarded the organization Play the Game for their work on “documenting and publicizing the enormous levels of mismanagement and corruption in the world’s leading sports”, as they put it. Supplement.
It was fitting for the two to win the prize together. They were close colleagues and friends, and when Jennings died at age 78 in January 2022, Weinreich mobilized his shared network of journalists, academics and sports executives, friends and a few foes, to contribute in a few weeks to a great written tribute to a man. who, by all accounts, was a formidable journalist and a force for change in the world of sports governance.
The tribute is published in a special 81-page issue of Weinreich’s magazine “Sport and Politics” with texts by 53 authors from 17 different countries.
The cover of the special issue of ‘Sport & Politique’
” The Lord of the Rings was published by Jennings and co-writer Vyv Simson should read the texts carefully: “More than 50 pieces of the puzzle fit together to form a great whole.”
Not only do the pieces fit together, but it’s also a multi-dimensional puzzle, which Weinreich put together with the help of people who knew Jennings well and admired him, as well as people who benefited from his journalistic attention, such as the ex-president of FIFA. Sep Blatter.
“With his books and articles he showed us a mirror, and while I disagree with much of what he wrote, I take my hat off to him,” Blatter writes, adding, ” When I look at what is happening in FIFA today, it would be happy if Andrew Jennings was still around.
How to get the documents
The magazine not only allows those who knew Jennings well to reminisce, but also gives new readers the opportunity to enter the intertwined worlds of Jennings and sports politics through well-written and often entertaining articles detailing amazing stories. that Jennings discovered on his own or helped. others. discover.
The magazine also contains many stories about Andrew Jennings as a man, a friend, a mentor and, above all, a hard-nosed journalist who avoided press conferences and media documents.
His journalistic approach and methodologies are discussed in several articles that highlight his insistence on obtaining the incriminating documents that have always been the basis of his work. And how do you do that? The magazine reprints an article Jennings wrote for “The Global Investigative Journalism Casebook” published by UNESCO where she explains her methods in that personal style that has ruffled quite a few feathers over the years:
“Go to a press conference organized by Mr. Big & Nasty. Don’t dress as fancy as the press kit. Silk ties are a career killer. be a killer Stand up and blame Mr. Big for whatever comes to your mind; corruption, pedophilia, the list is yours to write. You send a message to employees that if Mr. Big is as bastard as you suspect, working for him will be a sordid nightmare. He intimidates men and sniffs women… You point out to him that you don’t care… his fat p…, you only came because you want to fight. … If you performed well, the documents should start to arrive.
The importance of journalism.
The documents circulated under Jennings’ direction for many years, where he painstakingly collected and organized them, patiently extracting and publishing stories about the sport’s villains that ultimately led to the downfall of many corrupt FIFA officials.
One of the magazine’s articles is written by Special Agent Steven Berryman, who led the US Treasury Department’s global investigation into taxes, international money laundering and corruption in sports governance within FIFA. For him, the investigation began when he read a 2011 article by Jennings on corruption at FIFA and culminated in late May 2015 with the indictments and arrests of several FIFA officials in Switzerland and other countries. countries in South America, Central America. and the Caribbean.
“Know that much of this would never have been revealed without the tenacious and dedicated research and reporting conducted over decades by investigative journalists around the world, which is especially true for the late but never forgotten , Andrew Jennings,” Berryman wrote.
At Play the Game 2022, Jennings and investigative journalism will be celebrated as conference attendees are invited to “An Evening with Andrew Jennings”. Here, stories about his life and career will be mixed with discussions on how best to support and grow investigative sports journalism for years to come.