Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

Communication, Professional

Date of Award

8-2010

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

John M. King

Committee Members

Dan Brown, T. Jason Davis

Abstract

As new media grow, so do the users who navigate the virtual world. People and organizations are forced to adapt in order to stay relevant in a technologically driven marketplace. The sports world has been changed drastically because of new media. Athletes no longer communicate with the general public solely through traditional media outlets such as newspapers. Social networking sites such as Twitterallow athletes to directly communicate with mass audiences. This direct communication raises several questions with regard to dynamics of communication and uses of Internet portals. A content analysis examined professional athletes' "Twitter" posts to help answer these questions. While some of the hypotheses were not supported, results were telling. Topics among the sample of posts included direct communication with Twittermembers or links to videos and pictures, as well as "tweets" about each player's job. Findings suggested that professional athletes are mainly neutral overall when posting messages regarding their sport, team, peers, or fans. Limitations of the study and implications for future research are addressed.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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