Media Representation of Disability Sport
Media Representation of Disability Sport
Print and electronic media play one of the most important roles in setting the perceptions and standards of the public of any society. Disability sports is also one of the most important fields of life which provides the opportunity to the physically, as well as mentally handicapped individuals to excel in the field of sports and prove their capabilities, instead of limiting their lives to their disabilities. There is the least awareness about disability sports in most parts of the world and the role of the media in this regard is quite questionable as well. The media sources do not give enough coverage to support the cause of the disability sport by covering the major events like Paralympics and show more enthusiasm towards covering other sports events like FIFA world cup or ICC cricket world cup. The media may have the responsibility of representing the disability sports to support the cause, however, it is neglecting its responsibility.
Media plays an important role in creating awareness among different sections of society and sports are one of the most important fields of life which need the support of the media. There is no doubt in the fact that the media channels and sources give enough coverage to the major sports events around the world, however, the point of concern is that the disability sports are not given enough attention. The media sources not only promotes the sports events of Olympics, soccer, rugby, cricket, tennis and badminton etc., but the famous players of these games also get the attention of the media, as they are invited for interviews and also presented with advertisements to endorse some product or cause (Rees, Robinson, & Shields, 2019).
Beacom, French, and Kendall, (2016) have highlighted in their research study that the media does not support and present the disability sports events like those of the other sports events. The researchers have specifically provided the example of the Paralympic games and share the stance that most of the time people are not aware that such events are taking place in any part of the world, because media de not highlights them. The media channels share the news about such events which are quite brief and may take only up to five minutes in their transmission of twenty-four hours. Moreover, the researchers have also highlighted that the media sources are less likely to share the images of the Paralympics events and its participants on their websites or social media accounts, or even during the transmission as compared to other sports event (Beacom, French, & Kendall, 2016).
Media sources are not representing disability sports to the level they should do. The major issue in this regard is that media is the most common sources of providing information and highlighting the importance of social causes. Most of the times, the disabled individuals are not aware of the ventures they can explore, in order to live their lives in an effective manner, instead of accepting the defeat at the hands of their disability. A number of research studies have been explored by the researchers which depict that the media neglects its responsibility towards promoting the disability sports and providing the opportunity to the needy sections of the society to explore new ventures and make the best out of their physical or mental state (Brooke, 2018).
Media has the responsibility of representing the disability sports to support the cause however, it is not doing so. It gives more coverage and importance to general sports events as compared to disability sports. The media needs to play its role effectively as it is the most important medium of creating awareness in the society and preaching the cause of better opportunities for progress for disabled individuals.
Beacom, A., French, L., & Kendall, S. (2016). Reframing impairment? Continuity and change in media representations of disability through the Paralympic Games. International Journal of Sport Communication, 9(1), 42-62.
Brooke, M. (2018). The Singaporean Paralympics and Its Media Portrayal: Real Sport? Men-Only?. Communication & Sport, 2167479518784278.
Rees, L., Robinson, P., & Shields, N. (2019). Media portrayal of elite athletes with a disability–a systematic review. Disability and rehabilitation, 41(4), 374-381.
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