Re-presenting the Paralympics: (contested) philosophies, production practices and the hypervisibility of disability

Authors: Pullen, E., Jackson, D., Silk, M. and Scullion, R.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/31278/

http://journals.sagepub.com/home/mcs

Journal: Media, culture & society

Publisher: SAGE

ISSN: 0163-4437

DOI: 10.1177/0163443718799399

Studies that have engaged para-sport broadcasting, particularly through a narrative lens, have almost exclusively relied on textual and/or content analysis of the Paralympic Games as the source of cultural critique. We know far less about the decisions taken inside Paralympic broadcasters that have led to such representations. In this study – based on interviews with senior production and promotion staff at the UK’s Paralympic broadcaster, Channel 4 – we provide the first detailed examination of mediated para-sport from this vantage point. We explore the use of promotional devices such as athletes’ backstories – the “Hollywood treatment” – to both hook audiences and serve as a vehicle for achieving its social enterprise mandate to change public attitudes toward disability. In so doing, we reveal myriad tensions that coalesce around representing the Paralympics; with respect to the efforts made to balance the competing goals of key stakeholders and a stated desire to make the Paralympics both a commercial and socially progressive success.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Pullen, E., Jackson, D., Silk, M. and Scullion, R.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/31278/

Journal: Media, Culture and Society

eISSN: 1460-3675

ISSN: 0163-4437

DOI: 10.1177/0163443718799399

© The Author(s) 2018. Studies that have engaged parasport broadcasting, particularly through a narrative lens, have almost exclusively relied on textual and/or content analysis of the Paralympic Games as the source of cultural critique. We know far less about the decisions taken inside Paralympic broadcasters that have led to such representations. In this study – based on interviews with senior production and promotion staff at the United Kingdom’s Paralympic broadcaster, Channel 4 – we provide the first detailed examination of mediated parasport from this vantage point. We explore the use of promotional devices such as athletes’ backstories – the ‘Hollywood treatment’ – to both hook audiences and serve as a vehicle for achieving its social enterprise mandate to change public attitudes towards disability. In so doing, we reveal myriad tensions that coalesce around representing the Paralympics, with respect to the efforts made to balance the competing goals of key stakeholders and a stated desire to make the Paralympics both a commercial and socially progressive success.

The data on this page was last updated at 04:56 on March 21, 2019.