The current study examined how article source, medium, and fan identification can all affect the credibility of sports articles. An online experiment was conducted, and participants read an article that was indicated to have originated from a mainstream sports Web site, a sports blog, a social-networking site, or a wire service. Analysis revealed that fan-identification level was an important factor in credibility ratings in which highly identified fans found sports articles to be significantly more credible than fans with low identification. Highly identified fans also rated the article as equally credible on all 3 Web sites. However, low-identification fans rated the mainstream sports Web site article as significantly more credible than the other 2. Article medium was not shown to have a significant influence on perceived credibility for either identification group. The implications of fan-identification level on the discrepancies in ratings of perceived credibility are explored.
Patrick C. Gentile, Nicholas R. Buzzelli, Sean R. Sadri, and Nathan A. Towery
When the sports world abruptly shut down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sports journalists were left without live events to cover. To better understand how sports reporters adapted to these unforeseen circumstances, 23 in-depth interviews were conducted with American sports journalists working at local and national newspapers to acquire firsthand accounts of story topics, newsgathering procedures, and impacts on the industry moving forward. Three main themes emerged from the interviews: lack of access to players and coaches, remote newsgathering, and a temporary move to other departments in the newsroom, which required the sportswriters to be more creative. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.