Keywords : Follower

Digital Leadership on Twitter: The Digital Leadership Roles of Sports Journalists on Twitter

Emre Vadi Balci; Salih Tiryaki; Yavuz Demir; Enes Baloğlu

International Journal of Organizational Leadership, 2022, Volume 11, Issue Special Issue 2022, Pages 21-35
DOI: 10.33844/ijol.2022.60337

This study aims to demonstrate the digital leadership roles of Turkish sports journalists on Twitter individually and institutionally. During the Post Covid-19 pandemic process, journalists from institutional newspapers gained more active visibility, particularly on Twitter. Unlike traditional leadership roles, digital leadership is measured more within the context of interconnected relationships with followers and interactions on Twitter. Along with engaging followers on Twitter and attempting to address their interests and needs, sports journalists also compile their institutional and personal opinions and post them on Twitter. For this reason, in the present study, we analyzed the Twitter accounts of five well-known sports journalists actively engaged in Turkey and their institutional newspapers for one month. Then, we compared their followers, interactions, and contents. Accordingly, although online posts of sports journalists were less (n = 922) than the institutions they were employed in, they contrarily received more online interaction (e.g., retweet, mention, like). While 51.82% of Twitter posts shared by sports journalists reflected their own opinions and comments, the remaining 48.18% were typically in the form of mentions and retweets. The interactions of the sports journalists with their followers, at a rate of 28.83% in particular, were a significant rate for satisfying their followers' informational, enquiring, and practical needs. Indeed, such an attempt plays a critical role in the adoption of digital leadership roles by the followers of sports journalists. Contrary to traditional leadership roles, the number of followers and interaction rate were the main factors to signify digital leadership; however, aspects such as institution, age, and economic and social statuses were insignificant in the adoption of sports journalists as digital leaders on Twitter.