From Shanfan to Gymnastike: How Online Fan Texts Are Affecting Access to Gymnastics Media Coverage

in International Journal of Sport Communication

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Brigid McCarthyLatrobe University, Australia

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This discussion illustrates how fans of women’s artistic gymnastics have used rapidly innovating platforms for user-generated content to create and access sporting information. In doing so, these fans are contributing to the formation of rich collective intelligences around the sport and how these new-media texts are beginning to affect mainstream sports media coverage. Using gymnastics fandom as an example, this discussion demonstrates how online culture has become a prime outlet for those with niche sporting interests. These new-media forms such as blogs, video platforms, and message boards augment and act as supplements to the mainstream sports media coverage, as well as expanding the kinds of information sports fans now can access in this enriched information environment.

The author is with Media Studies, Latrobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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