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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2021

37 The male and female sports journalists divide on the Twittersphere

Haim Hagay and Alina Bernstein

Abstract

Scholarly studies of journalists’ Twitter activities have steadily been on the rise as more journalists take to this platform as a means of disseminating news stories. These studies suggest that Twitter has in fact overhauled journalistic notions of objectivity, readership interactions, transparency, and fact verification. With these shifts in mind, this current study explores whether the gendered sports journalism discourse, which remains predominantly patriarchal in traditional media, has in fact changed owing to journalists’ migration to the Twittersphere. To that end, tweets by prominent Israeli sports journalists were sampled between 2014 and 2016. The findings point to major differences in four main areas, in the tweeting of male and female journalists: interaction, personal life, sports fandom, and professional commentary. With that, two prevalent types of Twitter users emerge in the Israeli context: the professional tweeter - common amongst male journalists and the all-around players - and versatile tweeters whose tweets are also personal prevalent amongst female tweeters for whom Twitter is both a social and professional arena.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston