Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/99162
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Type: Journal article
Title: Communication of fantasy sports: comparative study of user-generated content by professional and amateur writers
Author: White, R.
Cheung, M.
Citation: IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 2015; 58(2):192-207
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0361-1434
1558-1500
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Ryman White and Ming Cheung
Abstract: Research problem: Over the past decade, the popularity of fantasy sports games has grown dramatically. A fantasy sport is a simulation game in which game players act as owners to build, manage, and coach imaginary teams that compete against one another, based on statistics generated by actual players or teams of a professional sport. In line with this, we have seen the emergence of various forms of media content being produced directly for those who participate in fantasy sports games-the most prolific example of this is writing for fantasy sports. This study aims to establish an understanding of how fantasy sport articles are currently being constructed by assessing the contributions of professional journalists and amateur writers. Research questions: RQ1: If the standardization of written discourse genres stems from the reciprocity between generic conventions and the responses to situations, then what are the differences between the discourse strategy used by professional journalists and that by their amateur counterparts in fantasy sports writing? RQ2: What are the writers' rhetorical goals and the reader-writer relationships they wish to establish through the fantasy sports texts? Literature review: This study is rooted in the notion of genre, a communicative event through which the writer and reader interact to make meanings in a particular context. Communication of fantasy sports involves the production of content that provides readers with news, analysis, and opinions about-and knowledge of-matters that concern the games, thus creating pools of intelligence which other fantasy sports players can use, add to, argue against, or ignore. This amateur-produced content and resulting knowledge communities formed by fantasy sports players have led to a genre development that professional communicators should examine because it reflects so much technical documentation and instructions have migrated into user-generated spaces. “The move” in genre anal- sis is a meaningful rhetorical unit that is related to the communicative purpose of a social activity and that contributes to the text's overall strategy within its situational context. Moves operate in coherence rather than isolation in a text. Methodology: A discourse analysis was conducted on 60 fantasy sports texts (30 by professional journalists and 30 by amateur writers) randomly selected from a few specific sources in 2012. A custom move scheme was devised for analyzing fantasy sports texts in this study. The results were analyzed using a chi-square test. Results and discussion: Results reveal significant differences between the discourse strategy used by professional journalists and that by amateur writers. These differences include amateur writers differing to some extent in their rhetorical goals from professional journalists as they offer media consumers a more balanced spread of information, that professional journalists place a substantially lower value on making predictions, that amateur writers and professional journalists share similar regard in terms of the appropriate amount of casualness to include in their writing although amateur writers are more included to build casualness in their articles, and that the use of writing techniques to invite further connection or engagement from readers is being underutilized by both professional and amateur writers. The major implications for the professional communicators are the insights into user-generated content, an approach in which organizations increasingly rely on for their product and service documentation.
Keywords: Digital media; discourse strategy; fantasy sports; genre analysis; user-generated content
Description: Date of Publication : June 2015
Rights: © 2015 IEEE.
RMID: 0030040444
DOI: 10.1109/TPC.2015.2430051
Appears in Collections:Media Studies publications

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