Thirdly, this study was biased in that all of the participants were social media users
and no journalists were included that did not use Twitter. Using journalists who do
not use social
media would be a consideration for future research, and may increase
the validity of this study’s findings.


Finally, all of the interviews completed within this study were undertaken using
Skype, an online application that allows video calling between
two individuals.
Despite its obvious strengths (inexpensive, geographically flexible and user
-
fr
iendly
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48

(Saumure and Given, n.d.
), Skype is defective in that it does not allow the same sense
of interaction as face
-
to
-
face interviews. Some participants may f
eel uncomfortable
with using an unorthodox interview style, and therefore this issue may influence their
responses as well as the rapport between interview and interviewee.


Future considerations for research in this field may include an increased sample s
ize,
using participants who both engage and do not engage in social media activity as well
as exploring more social media sites such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook and
Google+ to gather a more extensive understanding of social media sites.


5.3


Final
Thoughts

The conclusions of this disserta
tion supplement research by Ahma
d (2010), which
acknowledges Twitter as a transforming tool, revolutionising how sports journalists
work. As Participants within this study identified, those sports journalists who re
fuse
to engage in social media jeopardise their career and restrict themselves from the
wealth of news that sites, such as Twitter, offer. As Sanderson

and Hambrick

(2012,
p.400) denotes,

‘It is imperative that sports media organisations, sports journalis
ts and sports
media researchers pay strict attention to social media and harness the power
that these communicative channels provide.’

This dissertation compliments the work of Sanderson extensively, offering
conclusions which identify social media as a to
ol that,

‘can no longer be ignored when sports news unfolds, and given the ability to
frame messages, sports stakeholders must capitalize on these forums to
competitively promote their agendas’ (Sanderson

and Hambrick
, 2012, p.400).

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49

Altogether, this disser
tation concludes that social media is impacting on sports
journalism in ways that have not previously been considered. The impact of Twitter is
detailed and, although this research has identified that social media is not expected to
eradicate traditional j
ournalistic formats, the threat of social media cannot be
overlooked. In other words, sports journalism cannot beat social media, and therefore
should look to join it.




















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Appendix A

Participant Information Sheet

I am a student at Durham University currently researching for my undergraduate
degree in BA Sport. The focus of this particular study, of which is my final year
dissertation, is the impact social media has on the

profession of sports journalism.


Recent shifts towards a suggested ‘digital age’, highly stimulated by advancing
technology, have caused recent controversies, by athletes, fans and journalists
themselves, in the domain of sports journalism. Consequently
, I am looking to assess
how the implications of an increasingly dominant social media arena can affect the
occupation of sports journalism, and the work of sports journalists.


I am, therefore, interested in learning more about your personal opinion on th
e subject
and any personal experience you may have had concerning social media and your
vocation. This will require you to complete an interview, with myself, at your
convenience either face
-
to
-
face, via Skye, or another suitable method negotiated
between
both interviewee and interviewer. Please note that all of your answers will be
used with the highest confidentiality and in conduct with the Data Protection Act:
1998.


Your answers from the interview will be transcribed and accordingly used to form a
conclusion regarding the dissertation focus.


I would like to

thank you very much in advance for your time and honest answers.






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Appendix B

Consent Form


Full title of
Project
:
Out With The Old, In With The New:

The Threat of Social Media on the Practice of
Sports Journalism



Name, position and contact address of Researcher
:

Emily Clark

Durham University Student

4 Church Street Villas,

Durham,

Co. Durham,

DH1 3DW

+447867389679

e.m.clark@durham.ac.uk

emilymayclark.wordpress.com


Please initial box


I confirm that I have read and understand the information sheet for the above study
and have had the opportunity to ask
questions.




I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at
any time, without giving reason.




I agree to take part in the above study.







Please tick box



Yes No


I agree to the
interview being audio recorded





I agree to the use of anonymised quotes in publications




I agree that my data gathered in this study may be stored (after it has been
anonymised) in a specialist data centre and may be used for future

research.






Name of Participant




Date




Signature



Name of Researcher




Date




Signature










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Appendix C

Interview Schedule

1.

What is your name?

2.

Who is your employer?

3.

Please provide a description of your job.

4.

How many years of experience
do you have?

5.

How long have you been using Twitter in a working capacity?

6.

What were your reasons for beginning to use Twitter?

7.

How is Twitter involved in your daily working schedule?

8.

Do you use Twitter to gain information as a source from athletes/coaches e
tc.?

9.

Can you make comparisons between Twitter and other information sources?

10.

Do you personally use Twitter as an information output for your work?

11.

Do you use Twitter, or know of any other ways to use Twitter, other than as an
outlet or source?

12.

What are you
r thoughts on authenticity of content on Twitter (journalists have
power over citizen journalists)?

13.

What downfalls do you think Twitter has?

14.

Do you think Twitter has an impact on sport
s journalism over other forms

of
journalism

(i
f so, why)?

15.

What were your

first

thoughts
concerning

Twitter as a journalistic
device
?

16.

Have
your thoughts changed since those initial considerations?

17.

Do you think Twitter offers a long
-
term impact on the profession of sports
journalism?

18.

If you disagree with the above, what do you t
hink will lead to the failure of
Twitter as a journalistic tool?

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19.

As a professional journalist, do you think that Twitter has impacted negatively
or positively on the quality of your work since becoming pa
rt of your
journalistic routine (how?)

20.

What do you t
hink Twitter offers you as an input/output tool that traditional
journalistic media formats do not?

21.

Do you believe social media policies should be introduced (if so, why?)

22.

Any supplementary comments?