Antunovic publishes journal article on mediatization of the Olympics in Croatia and Slovenia; begins new international collaborations

Dunja Antunovic smiling
Dunja Antunovic, PhD

Dunja Antunovic, PhD, assistant professor of sport sociology at the School of Kinesiology and Tucker Center affiliated scholar, recently published a co-authored journal article titled “A public service? Mediatization of the Olympic Games in Croatia and Slovenia” in Communication & Sport. The article is a part of a special issue about the mediatization of sport and appears ahead of print. 

The article examines digital Olympic content on public service broadcasters’ Facebook pages in Croatia and Slovenia to gain insight into broader processes of mediatization of sport. The analysis during the 2020 Tokyo Games found that public service media organizations post primarily contest-related updates (e.g., results), while rarely using the platform to share general news or human-interest stories. Only a few posts provided educational content, while critical coverage of the Olympics was nonexistent. Consistent with previous research, Olympic media coverage politicized “home” nation athletes. 

The findings of this study provide insight into the challenges public service media organizations face in Croatia and Slovenia and highlight the limitations on sports journalism during the pandemic. Contextualized in relation to insights from industry professionals, the study also raises crucial questions about the role of public service media in the broader region. 

This journal article is a collaboration with Dr. Simon Ličen, PhD, associate professor at the Department of Educational Leadership and Sport Management at Washington State University and Sunčica Bartoluci, PhD, assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Zagreb. This publication is the first of a series of ongoing collaborations between the authors on the sociological aspects of sport media in the Central and Eastern European region. 

Antunovic, Ličen and Bartoluči are also co-authors on a manuscript titled “Our Region, Many Voices: Sports Media Research in Central and Eastern Europe,” which was accepted to the International Communication Association pre-conference, “One World, Many Voices: The Future of Sports Communication”, which will be held in May, 2022, in Paris, France.