Media Coverage of the Paralympics: Recommendations for Sport Journalism Practice and Education

in International Journal of Sport Communication

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Dunja AntunovicSchool of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

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Andrea BundonSchool of Kinesiology, International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Researchers have extensively documented the issues in quantity and quality of media coverage of the Paralympic Games. The lack of coverage and stereotypical representations can be attributed to a variety of structural and cultural factors, notably including journalistic norms and values. This scholarly commentary proposes a reconsideration of journalistic values in order to argue that sports journalists have a professional responsibility to cover the Paralympics and issues of disability for at least three reasons: (a) The Paralympics are an elite-level, international sporting event and thus merit sport-focused coverage, (b) sport journalists have an ethical obligation to include diverse perspectives in reporting and to challenge stereotypes, and (c) sport is intertwined with social issues and requires contextualized reporting. The commentary concludes with recommendations for sport communication and journalism education.

Antunovic (dunjaant@umn.edu) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6045-9484.

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