Sandusky scandal revolutionized sports journalists' social network

Jun 21, 2013 by Jimmy Sanderson

Twitter has become a visible player in the sport media industry and a recently published journal article illustrates how sports journalists' social network developed and enlarged over the beginning phases of the Jerry Sandusky saga.

Using social network analysis methods, a core network of 151 journalists was identified. The results of the study reveal how quickly sports journalists joined the discussion around Sandusky. On the day the Sandusky news broke, 12 journalists were in the network and shared 43 relationships in the network. The next day, 42 more journalists joined the network sharing 585 relationships. On average, 10 journalists joined the network per day adding 185 relationships to the network.

Social network analysis also revealed a "Power 30," members in the network who were followed by an average of 28 other journalists and collectively a total of 1.7 million Twitter users.

Jimmy Sanderson, assistant professor in the Department of at Clemson University says, "Twitter provides access to networks that can increase a member's network and visibility and there's perhaps not a better example than Sara Gamin who rose to national prominence during this story, which to some degree, was influenced by the promotion she received from other journalists encouraging readers to follow her coverage of the story."

The study also demonstrates that Twitter is a place where breaking sports news is obtained and it seems important for sports journalists to be active in this medium to then direct sports media consumers to their columns, websites, or talk shows.

"Twitter also provides a way for sports journalists to rise in the network, through promotion from their peers. We are starting to see more of this when established sports media personalities encourage audiences to follow another journalist on Twitter or to check out their work, and this is a great way for sports to promote their journalists to a ," commented Sanderson.

"Twitter has escalated the pace with which we receive news. Sports journalists in particular have established a strong presence on Twitter and use the platform to provide news quickly to their readers," said Marion E. Hambrick, assistant professor in the Department of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Louisville. "With big stories such as the Sandusky case, journalists can offer a range of information from every angle, and Twitter has proven instrumental in helping them deliver this content."

Explore further: Twitpic to stay alive with new owner

More information: Journal of Sports Media: Gaining Primacy in the Digital Network: Using Social Network Analysis to Examine Sports Journalists' Coverage of the Penn State Football Scandal via Twitter, muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_… 08/8.1.hambrick.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Journalists 'can't work without social media,' study shows

Sep 20, 2012

(Phys.org)—More than a quarter of UK journalists are unable to work without social media despite an increasing number of concerns about productivity, privacy and the future of journalism, according to the 2012 social journalist ...

Journalists prefer Twitter: Spanish study

Sep 26, 2011

Research carried out by professors at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) analyzing how Spanish journalists use the main social networks shows that Twitter is the most widely used, particularly to disseminate ...

Facebook launches page for journalists

Apr 06, 2011

Facebook has launched a media resource page to help journalists use the social network as a reporting tool and better connect with their audience.

Safety first: Reporting food scares

Jun 12, 2013

Journalists believe their primary role in food scares is to inform the public of potential health risks, according to Flinders research.

Mysterious Facebook event sparks online buzz

Jun 17, 2013

A mysterious Facebook event set for Thursday has sparked buzz that the leading social network could be adding video to Instagram smartphone picture-sharing service.

Recommended for you

Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

Sep 17, 2014

Facebook says it temporarily restored hundreds of deleted profiles of self-described drag queens and others, but declined to change a policy requiring account holders to use their real names rather than drag names such as ...

Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

Sep 17, 2014

Online ratings operator Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle US charges that it illegally collected data on children, in violation of privacy laws, officials said Wednesday.

User comments : 0