Social Media and Digital Breakage on the Sports Beat

in International Journal of Sport Communication
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $63.00

1 year subscription

USD  $84.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $119.00

2 year subscription

USD  $156.00

This scholarly commentary draws on existing sport communication literature in an exploration of social media’s role in, and impact on, sport journalism practices and the production of sport news. Of particular concern is the emergence of a form of citizen sport journalism that usurps the traditional role of sport journalists as gatekeepers of the relationship between the sports world and its multitude of audiences. It is argued that social media are providing audiences with more opportunities to create the type of mediated discourses they want to experience by eliminating the scarcity of time and space that once privileged the gatekeeping status of sport journalists. Consequently, sport reporters are becoming social-media content creators and curators while competing against spectator sport-news content creators. Whereas these changes might have a negative connotation, the authors conclude that sport coverage in digital culture offers more opportunities for journalists to step outside the confines of traditional sport journalism work routines and news-production practices.

The authors are with the Dept. of Communication, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Lowes (mlowes@uottawa.ca) is corresponding author.
  • Abeza, G., O’Reilly, N., Seguin, B., & Nzindukiyimana, O. (2017). The world’s highest paid athletes, product endorsement, and Twitter. Sport, Business and Management, 7(3), 332–355. doi:10.1108/SBM-08-2016-0040

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boehmer, J., & Lacy, S. (2014). Sport news on Facebook: The relationship between interactivity and readers’ browsing behavior. International Journal of Sport Communication, 7(1), 1–15. doi:10.1123/IJSC.2013-0112

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boyle, R. (2012). Reflections on communication and sport: On journalism and digital culture. Communication & Sport, 1(1–2), 88–99. doi:10.1177/2167479512467978

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boyle, R., & Haynes, R. (2013). Sports journalism and social media: A new conversation? In D. Rowe & B. Hutchins (Eds.), Digital media sport: Technology, power and culture in the network society (pp. 204–226). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Corrigan, T.F. (2014). The political economy of sports and new media. In A.C. Billings & M. Hardin (Eds.), Routledge handbook of sport and new media (pp. 43–54). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deprez, A., Mechant, P., & Hoebeke, T. (2013). Social media and Flemish sports reporters: A multimethod analysis of Twitter use as journalistic tool. International Journal of Sport Communication, 6(2), 107–119. doi:10.1123/ijsc.6.2.107

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dimmick, J., Chen, Y., & Li, Z. (2004). Competition between the Internet and traditional news media: The gratification-opportunities niche dimension. Journal of Media Economics, 17(1), 19–33. doi:10.1207/s15327736me1701_2

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gibbs, C., & Haynes, R. (2013). A phenomenological investigation into how Twitter has changed the nature of sport media relations. International Journal of Sport Communication, 6(4), 394–408. doi:10.1123/ijsc.6.4.394

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gibbs, C., O’Reilly, N., & Brunette, M. (2014). Professional team sport and Twitter: Gratifications sought and obtained by followers. International Journal of Sport Communication, 7(2), 188–213. doi:10.1123/IJSC.2014-0005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grimmer, C.G., & Kian, E. (2013). Reflections of German football journalists on their relationships with Bundesliga club public relations practitioners. International Journal of Sport Communication, 6(4), 446–463. doi:10.1123/ijsc.6.4.446

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hutchins, B. (2011). The acceleration of media sport culture. Information, Communication & Society, 14(2), 237–257. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2010.508534

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lowes, M. (1997). Sports page: A case study in the manufacture of sports news for the daily press. Sociology of Sport Journal, 14(2), 143–159. doi:10.1123/ssj.14.2.143

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lowes, M. (1999). Inside the sports pages: Work routines, professional ideologies, and the manufacture of sports news. Toronto, ON, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCarthy, B. (2011). From Shanfan to Gymnastike: How online fan texts are affecting access to gymnastics media coverage. International Journal of Sport Communication, 4(3), 265–283. doi:10.1123/ijsc.4.3.265

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCarthy, B. (2012). Consuming sports media, producing sports media: An analysis of two fan sports blogospheres. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 48(4), 421–434. doi:10.1177/1012690212448240

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCarthy, B. (2014). A sports journalism of their own: An investigation into the motivations, behaviours, and media attitudes of fan sports bloggers. Communication & Sport, 2(1), 65–79. doi:10.1177/2167479512469943

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McEnnis, S. (2013). Raising our game: Effects of citizen journalism on Twitter for professional identity and working practices of British sport journalists. International Journal of Sport Communication, 6(4), 423–433. doi:10.1123/ijsc.6.4.423

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Price, J., Farrington, N., & Hall, L. (2013). Changing the game? The impact of Twitter on relationships between football clubs, supporters and the sports media. Soccer & Society, 14(4), 446–461. doi:10.1080/14660970.2013.810431

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reed, S. (2013). American sports writers’ social media use and its influence on professionalism. Journalism Practice, 7(5), 555–571. doi:10.1080/17512786.2012.739325

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reed, S., & Hansen, K. (2013). Social media’s influence on American sport journalists’ perception of gatekeeping. International Journal of Sport Communication, 6(4), 373–383. doi:10.1123/ijsc.6.4.373

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sandvoss, C. (2005). Fandom: The mirror of consumption. Oxford, UK: Polity Press.

  • Shirky, C. (2010). Cognitive surplus: Creativity and generosity in a connected age. London, England: Allen Lane.

  • Stebbins, R. (2001). Exploratory research in the social sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Yanity, M. (2013). Publishing for paydirt: A case study of an athletic department writer. International Journal of Sport Communication, 6(4), 478–489. doi:10.1123/ijsc.6.4.478

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 477 477 101
Full Text Views 13 13 7
PDF Downloads 6 6 1