A Comparison of the Japanese Sports Blogosphere and Newspapers

Friday, 20 July 2018: 16:15
Oral Presentation
Mitsunori OHHASHI, Kurume University, Japan
The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of online and traditional media sports coverage by comparing the content of blog posts to newspapers. Previous internet-based studies have demonstrated research significance, however, the research has not examined the convergence of the “virtual” and “real’” user experience (Millington and Wilson, 2010). Additionally, Meraz (2009) pointed out that further study is needed to analyze “traditional-media-to-citizen media influence.” Drawing from the content analysis of daily newspaper and sports blog coverage of a Japanese high school baseball tournament, this study focuses on the virtual sports context. The online coverage of a Japanese high school baseball tournament was identified in sports fan blogs. The blogs, Sportsnavi plus, were published on Sportnavi.com, a sports fan website which includes more than 100 sports articles. Blog posts were analyzed and compared with issues of the newspapers Asahi and Yomiuri. The analysis showed that most blog posts referenced information from the newspapers as primary sources. The bloggers added very few of their own opinions and were rarely offensive or critical. Most comments to replies were agreeable in nature. These findings indicate that bloggers for Japanese sports do not feel free to post their own opinions and might limit opinions to individual messages. Although other research shows that some bloggers insert their own opinions in the blogosphere, the results of this study indicate that bloggers may not post their own opinions or critiques for fear of alienating readers. Previous studies have shown a strong influence of blogs in a political context, but the results of this study suggest that sports blogs have little effect on public opinion. The analysis suggests that bloggers can find more valuable content to post at sports fields and stadiums, therefore future research should focus on the “authentic voice” for sports websites.