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A major sporting event or an entertainment show? A content analysis of Australian television coverage of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games

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Outside of the Paralympic Games, elite athletes with disability rarely feature in the media. Using mixed method content analysis, the aim of this study was to compare the production and content of the 2016 Paralympic and Olympic Games broadcasts of an Australian commercial television network. Data were collected from recordings of a daily highlights show of the Paralympic and Olympic Games using a data abstraction tool with a priori codes. Data were coded for–content, participant(s) and context. Results suggest the Paralympic Games was broadcast as an entertainment show rather than a major sporting event. There were greater attempts during the Paralympic broadcast to elicit emotion; notions of competition vs. participation were raised; and stories of disability ran parallel to those of hardship. These differences in media portrayal of elite athletes with disability feed into existing notions that under-values their athleticism.

History

Publication Date

01/01/2018

Journal

Sport in Society

Volume

21

Issue

12

Pagination

16p. (p. 1974-1989)

Publisher

Routledge

ISSN

1743-0437

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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