Date of Graduation

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Journalism

Advisor

Rob Wells

Committee Member

Ricky Thein

Second Committee Member

Larry Foley

Keywords

analytics, Arkansas, digital, Razorbacks, reporting, sports journalism, statistics, technology

Abstract

This study seeks to analyze how Arkansas’ sports journalists are adapting to the recent surge in available advanced statistics that are being used by certain national news organizations. Using in-depth qualitative research that includes in-depth interviews with a number of individuals in the print, broadcast, and athletics side of sports coverage, we discover how journalists and coaches use these next-generation analytics, what they fundamentally mean for the evolution of each respective path, and why so few Arkansas reporters and writers use them at the time of this paper’s defense. We see how budgets and deadlines restrict the use of these statistics, why journalism’s time-oriented workplace environment poses challenges to their use and how changes in daily routine nearly always result in some form of discord. Through research, we find that the more readily available these statistics are, the more likely an individual writer will work to implement them. Likewise, the more steps and obstacles standing in the way of relatively-easy usage, the higher chance that these statistical tools will not be used.

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