media appearances. Since the appearance of social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), athletes can directly communicate with their fans and also with journalists. The question is to what extent Olympians are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this new public communication
Agnes Kovacs, Tamas Doczi, and Dunja Antunovic
Since 2010, major college athletics departments have expanded a trend of hiring former beat writers to the hybrid position of sportswriter/public relations (PR) practitioner. This case study explored the routines and roles of a former sportswriter in his PR position at the University of Washington. After observing how he moved through social and professional settings and occupational routines, the author identifies 3 themes surrounding his routines. The themes are sport journalist, PR practitioner, and subordinate. Given the historic antagonism between journalists and PR practitioners, the routines are sometimes at odds with one another. The results indicate that the routines affect content while engaging stakeholders.
Women have been entering the sports journalism industry in growing numbers around the world but are still oftentimes sidelined ( Franks & O’Neill, 2016 ). Many issues have been raised for female sports journalists over the years: they are constantly “challenged by gender stereotypes and biases
Annelore Deprez, Peter Mechant, and Tim Hoebeke
Literature states that incorporating social media as a journalistic tool in news reporting generates opportunities for journalists to not only dialogue with the audience but also to publish, to seek information, and to profile themselves or their organizations. This study broadens the empirical data on the journalistic use of social media, more specifically Twitter, by sports journalists in Flanders. A multimethod research approach was used to examine the content of tweets, the followings, and the profiles of the sports journalists. Results show that almost half of the sports journalists have a Twitter account, just over a third of them actively post tweets, and Twitter serves predominantly as an information source to learn more about athletes and their teams. Journalists also publish and communicate on Twitter and to a lesser extent use Twitter to interact with their audience. The study also reveals that Twitter is rarely used as a profiling tool for self-presentation.
Lucie Schoch and Fabien Ohl
In this paper, we analyze working experiences of female sports journalists in the French-speaking Swiss daily press. We draw on Bourdieu’s theory of habitus and field to examine how structures of power shape these journalists’ lives. Based on 27 semistructured interviews and observations in the field, we found that women journalists’ work experiences depend on the relationship between their position in the field and their ethos and hexis. We identified three main strategies through which the women journalists negotiated their experiences: (1) conforming to the dominant male ethos (2) threatening the orthodoxy (3) resisting while hijacking the assigned role.
Elsa Kristiansen and Dag Vidar Hanstad
This case study explores the relationship between media and sport. More specifically, it examines the association (i.e., the contact and communication) between Norwegian journalists and athletes during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. Ten athletes and three journalists were interviewed about their relationship. To regulate and improve the journalist–athlete relationship during special events like the Olympics, media rules have been formulated. In regard to the on-site interactions, they accepted that they are working together where one was performing and the other reporting the event “back home.” While the best advice is to be understanding of the journalists’ need for stories and inside information, the media coverage was perceived as a constant stress factor for the athletes. However, because of the media rules the athletes were able to keep their distance but one athlete did comment: “You will not survive if you take it personally.”
The sociocultural context of sports journalists, comprising journalism on the one hand and the sports spectacle on the other, induces a conflict of interests. Journalists must endeavor to gain and maintain a minimum of professional credibility and sustain a close relationship with the source of information. This article presents two resolutive practices used by sports journalists as a means of dealing with this conflict. The first is the sports journalises ambivalent behavior toward the source of information. The second is the sports journalises use of a sociodramatic narrative feeding a loss-of-control scenario. These practices, respectively interactive and discursive, are discussed as well as their relationship to the sports journalise’s conflict of interests.
Edward M. Kian, Janet S. Fink, and Marie Hardin
This study examined content differences in the framing of men’s and women’s tennis coverage based on the sex of sports writers. Articles on the 2007 U.S. Open in six popular Internet sites and newspapers were examined. Results showed both female and male writers wrote a higher percentage of articles exclusively on men’s tennis than on women’s tennis. Female journalists accounted for more overall newspapers articles than male reporters, whereas online articles were mostly written by male authors. Framing results showed female journalists largely reinforced hegemonic masculinity through the use of sexist and stereotypical descriptors that de-valued the athleticism and accomplishment of female athletes. In contrast, male journalists were more likely to challenge the traditional gendering of sport media content by praising the athleticism of female athletes. The contrasts suggest the potential presence of subtle shifts in traditional, masculine framing of sports by male reporters, who dominate the ranks of sportswriters.
Sada Reed and Kathleen A. Hansen
Using gatekeeping theory as a conceptual framework, this study examines social media’s influence on American sports journalists’ perception of gatekeeping, particularly sports journalists who cover elite sports. Seventy-seven print sports journalists covering professional sports were asked if their definition of gatekeeper has changed since they began using social media for news-gathering purposes. Thirty-six participants did not think their definition of gatekeeper had changed. The 26 respondents who did think it had changed were asked to explain how. Responses were coded into 1 of the 5 categories in Shoemaker and Reese’s Hierarchy of Influences model—individual, media routines, organization, extramedia, and ideological. Results suggest that for practitioners who do believe there has been a change, they see social media as changing their day-in, day-out job routines, as opposed to extramedia influences.
Christoph G. Grimmer and Edward M. Kian
This article examines German print sport journalists’ perceptions, experiences, and relationships with Bundesliga clubs’ public relations (PR) staffers and each club’s designated press spokesperson, as well the impact of a competitive, multitier 21st-century media environment on their jobs. All Bundesliga clubs are now disseminating more multimedia content on their own through official Web sites and social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Meanwhile, the German newspaper industry is in a state of transformation and decreased prominence among mediums in German sport journalism. A survey of print journalists who cover Bundesliga clubs showed that these changes have affected the historic symbiotic relationship between the sporting press and Bundesliga clubs. Power and media autonomy have increased for Bundesliga clubs and their designated press spokespersons, while print reporters are more dependent on the clubs’ PR staffers to provide access. The surveyed journalists recognize the increasing power of television in German sport journalism, but nearly half do not consider this as negative for their jobs. These print sport journalists are called on to find new ways and types of media content to begin restoring the needed balance in a symbiotic relationship between independent press and PR, while also distinguishing their work from televised media content.