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Mary Lou Sheffer and Brad Schultz

This was an extension of research by the same authors (2010) that investigated sports reporters’ perception of their use of Twitter as part of their professional journalistic duties. Using content-analysis methodology (N = 1,008), the authors investigated how sports reporters actually used Twitter. Analysis showed a discrepancy between journalist responses and measured content. Although journalists said they were using Twitter for breaking news and promotion, the dominant result of the content analysis was commentary and opinion. There were also differences related to print and smaller media outlets. The implications of such differences are discussed, including a possible paradigmatic shift in journalists’ approaches.

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Brad Schultz and Mary Lou Sheffer

A theoretical perspective of technological determinism was used to assess what, if any, changes Twitter is causing in journalism news work. This change was assessed based on the responses of sports journalists around the country. Results indicated very little change in terms of the journalists’ perceptions, but different groups were using the new technology differently. Younger and broadcast journalists were more likely to see Twitter as having stand-alone value and use it in forward-thinking ways. Older and print journalists were more likely to use Twitter for traditional purposes such as promoting printed work on other platforms.