The use of social media among sports writers to gather information has influenced sports journalism practices and relationships with sources, further complicating the industry‘s abstract definition of ―professionalism.‖ This study builds off pilot surveys and interviews that assessed print sports journalists‘ use of social media. In this study, a survey was administered to 77 print sports journalists who cover professional sports. This paper seeks to extend the pilot study and previous professional research in two ways: Firstly, to assess how print sports journalists who cover professional sports use Facebook and Twitter to gather information; and secondly, to analyze how these sports writers define ―professionalism‖ and what industry factors correlate with chosen definitions, such as gatekeeping, newspaper circulation, frequency of social media use, and work superiors‘ attitudes toward social media. Cross tabulations and chi-square tests were used to test hypotheses. Cramer‘s V or Phi, depending upon the cross tabulation, were used to measure relationship strength. Results suggest a strong relationship between frequency of Twitter usage and the definition of professionalism chosen; circulation size and instances of directly quoting from athletes‘ social media accounts; and age and Twitter usage.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. September 2011. Major: Mass Communication. Advisor: Kathleen Hansen. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 76 pages, appendices A-D.
Reed, Sada J..
Print sports journalists' use of social media and its effect on professionalism..
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