Sports reporters’ grudging use of new, social media

My friend Ted Kian and his colleague Ray Murray at Oklahoma State have published a study looking at how sports journalists are using new, social and digital media in their jobs. Their findings show that sports reporters are using these new media often grudgingly and aren’t fans of this technology.

It’s an interesting and important area of study, and in a lot of ways it mirrors the work I’m doing in my dissertation (which I’m in the process of revising and will have more to say about once that process is done). Ted and I have talked about this at conferences in the past, and I hope that my work builds on theirs.

A few of the interesting notes from their study, according to Nieman Lab. Reporters HATE Deadspin and Bleacher Report – which is not a surprise. There’s a divide between what sports journalists see as “real journalism” and the work done by those blogs. That’s one of the lines of demarcation in sports journalism in this era – though I often wonder how fans see that line.

Then there’s the odd dichotomy of sports reporters and new and social media:

And that’s one of the ironies of the study: That even though the sports reporters interviewed have disdain for what their jobs have been turned into because of the web, the competition has, in many cases, pushed them to be among the top adopters of new technology in newsrooms.

(from the study): When you find out news, you have to put it out there immediately somewhere. Whether your story is well formed or not now matters less. Twitter is the primary outlet that almost all of us [sports reporters] use for first reporting. and then you use the paper’s website for a short story.