An Ideal Misconstrued: Newspaper Coverage of the Atlanta Paralympic Games in France and Germany

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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The purpose of this study was to analyze newspaper coverage of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics by the French and German press. Drawing on media theories and critical concepts of exclusion and disability. 104 articles from 8 French and German nationwide newspapers were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methodology. The results suggest that performances of athletes with disabilities are of little importance to the French and German sport press. Indeed, the way in which the newspapers reported on the Paralympics misconstrued the ideal of the Paralympic Games. Instead of reporting on the sporting and idealistic aspects of this meeting, the press chose the commercial logic of general news value and focused primarily on national success and medal rankings of the countries.

O.J. Schantz is with UFR-STAPS at the Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg, France. K. Gilbert is with the School of Human Movement Studies at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

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