Advertisement

Game Changer? Social Media, Representations of Disability and the Paralympic Games

  • Liam French
  • Jill M. Le Clair
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter takes as its central focus the ways in which broadcast media frame Paralympic sport and the extent to which new and emerging social media technologies and platforms potentially offer new modes of consumption and ways of engaging with disability sport which challenge traditional dominant mainstream mass media representations. Data collected based on the use of Twitter during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games indicates that social media provide valuable real-time opportunities for audiences to engage with global sporting events such as the Paralympic Games. Twitter potentially opens up the terrain of representation wherein the circulation of media messages can be engaged with, negotiated, contested and contributed to an unprecedented scale potentially challenging the established gate-keeping role of professional sports broadcasters and journalists and enabling new modes of engagement with Paralympic sport.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research conducted by Jill M Le Clair was funded by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions of the European Commission (FP7–PEOPLE-2013-ITN-623864).

Research Assistant Samantha Fritz provided invaluable help in the collection and analysis of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games Twitter data.

References

  1. Berners-Lee, Tim. 1997. World Wide Web Consortium Launches International Program Office for Web Accessibility Initiative. http://www.w3.org/Press/IPO-announce. Accessed 20 November 2016.
  2. Boorstin, Julia. 2016. Digital Streaming is a Game Changer for Sports. The Pulse@Market1, 7.30 am. CNBC, February 24. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/24/digital-streaming-is-a-game-changer-for-sports.html
  3. Boyle, Raymond, and Richard Haynes. 2009. Power Play: Sport, the Media and Popular Culture. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Briant, Emma, Nick Watson, and Gregory Philo. 2013. Reporting Disability in the Age of Austerity: The Changing Face of Media Representation of Disability and Disabled People in the United Kingdom and the Creation of New ‘Folk Devils. Disability & Society 28 (6): 874–889.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brittain, Ian. 2010. The Paralympic Games Explained. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Carah, Nicholas, and Eric Louw. 2015. Media and Society: Production, Content and Participation. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Chang, Young Ik, and Jane Crossman. 2009. When There Is a Will, There Is a Way: A Qualitative Comparison of the Newspaper Coverage of the 2004 Summer Paralympic and Olympic Games. International Journal of Applied Sports Sciences 21 (2): 16–34.Google Scholar
  8. Channel 4. 2016. Meet the Paralympians. The Superhumans Return. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-superhumans-return/articles/all/meet-the-paralympians. Accessed 19 March.
  9. Christiansen, Sophie. 2013. A Year After the Paralympics Attitudes to Disability Need to Improve. http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2013/aug/24/paralympics-sophie-christiansen-equestrian. Accessed 30 March 2016.
  10. Claydon, E. Anna, Barrie Gunter, and Paul Reilly. 2015. Dis/Enablement? An Analysis of the Representation of Disability on British Terrestrial Television Pre- and Post Paralympics. In Reframing Disability?: Media, (Dis)empowerment, and Voice in the 2012 Paralympics, ed. Daniel Jackson, Caroline E.M. Hodges, Mike Molesworth, and Richard Scullion, 37–65. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Davis, Lennard J., ed. 2010. Disability Studies Reader. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Duggan, M., and J. Brenner. (2013). The Demographics of Social Media Users—2012. Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, February 14. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Social-media-users.aspx. Accessed 20 May 2015.
  13. Ellis, Katie, and Gerard Goggin. 2015. Disability and the Media. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ellis, Katie, and Mike Kent. 2011. Disability and New Media. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Garthwaite, Kayleigh. 2011. The Language of Shirkers and Scroungers?’ Talking About Illness, Disability and Coalition Welfare Reform. Disability & Society 26 (3): 369–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gauntlett, David. 2011. Making Is Connecting: The Social Meanings of Creativity, from DIY and Knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  17. Giuffre, Liz. 2015. #IsItOk to Be a Celebrity (disabled) Comedian?: Approaching Disability with Adam Hill’s Television Programme, ‘The Last Leg’. In Reframing Disability? Media, (Dis)empowerment, and Voice in the 2012 Paralympics, ed. Daniel Jackson, Caroline E.M. Hodges, Mike Molesworth, and Richard Scullion, 66–78. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Goggin, Gerald. 2012. New Technologies and the Media. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Goggin, Gerard, and Christopher Newell. 2007. Disability and On-line Culture. In New Media Worlds: Challenges for Conversion, ed. Virginia Nightingale and Tim Dwyer, 103–117. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Goodley, Dan. 2013. Disentangling Critical Disability Studies. Disability & Society 28 (5): 631–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Han, S. 2011. Web 2.0. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Hipke, Makayla, and Frauke Hachtmann. 2014. Game Changer: A Case Study of Social Media Strategy in Big Ten Athletic Departments. International Journal of Sport Communication 7: 516–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Houpt, Simon. 2016. Traditional Media Losing Favour Among Voters. The Globe and Mail, November 9: A9.Google Scholar
  24. Howe, David. 2008. The Cultural Politics of the Paralympic Movement: Through an Anthropological Lens. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. IPC. 2012a. IPC Social Media Guidelines for Persons Accredited at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. https://www.paralympic.org/sites/default/files/document/120208111714089_2011_11_24_IPC_Social_Media_Guidelines_FINAL_update.pdf. Accessed 10 April 2015.
  26. ———. 2012b. London 2012 Paralympics Prove to Be Online Success. http://www.paralympic.org/news/london-2012-paralympics-prove-be-online-success. Accessed 2 April 2015.
  27. ———. 2016, February 26. IPC Social and Digital Media Guidelines. For Persons Accredited to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. https://www.paralympic.org/sites/default/files/document/160226091126449_IPC+Social+and+Digital+Media+Guidelines+for+Rio+2016.pdf. Accessed 9 January 2017.
  28. Jackson, Daniel, Caroline E.M. Hodges, Mike Molesworth, and Richard Scullion, eds. 2015. Reframing Disability?: Media, (Dis)empowerment, and Voice in the 2012 Paralympics. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Jaeger, Paul T. 2012. Disability and the Internet: Confronting a Digital Divide. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  30. Keen, Andrew. 2015. The Internet Is Not the Answer. London. Atlantic Books. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120904/jsp/foreign/story_15935002.jsp#.WDHXlNUrKUk. Accessed 12 April 2016.
  31. Kelso, Paul. 2012. Pistorius’s Tarnished Gold Medal Win, Says Alan Oliveira Who Had Just Three Weeks on New Blades Before 200m. The Telegraph, September 4. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/paralympic-sport/9518226/Oscar-Pistoriuss-tarnished-gold-medal-win-says-Alan-Oliveira-who-had-just-three-weeks-on-new-blades-before-200m.html. Accessed 7 April 2016.
  32. Kopera, Sebastian. 2016. Social Media Challenges. In Contemporary Issues in Sport Management: A Critical Introduction, ed. Terri Byers, 349–362. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  33. Kraayenoord, Christa van. 2010. Digital Environments and Individuals with Disabilities: Some Research Needs. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education 57 (3): 241–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Le Clair, Jill M. 2011. Transformed Identity: From Disabled Person to Paralympian. Sport in Society: Special Issue Disability in the Global Sport Arena: A Sporting Chance 14 (9): 1116–1130.Google Scholar
  35. Legg, David, and Keith Gilbert, eds. 2011. Paralympic Legacies. Champaign, IL: Common Ground.Google Scholar
  36. McVeigh, Karen. 2016. Benefit Cuts Threaten Independent Living for Thousands of Disabled People. The Guardian, May 15. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/mar/15/disability-cuts-cutbacks-destroy-independent-living-budget#img-2. Accessed 20 March 2016.
  37. Misener, Laura. 2012. A Media Framed Analysis of the Legacy Discourse for the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games. Communication and Sport 1 (4): 342–364. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167479512469354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. ———. 2015. Leveraging Parasport Events for Community Participation: Development of a Theoretical Framework. European Sport Management Quarterly 15 (1): 132–153. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2014.997773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Misener, Laura, S. Darcy, David Legg, and Keith Gilbert. 2013. Beyond Olympic Legacy: Understanding Paralympic Legacy Through Thematic Analysis. Journal of Sport Management 27: 329–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Molesworth, Mike, Daniel Jackson, and Richard Scullion. 2015. Where Agendas Collide: Online Talk and the Paralympics. In Reframing Disability?: Media, (Dis)empowerment, and Voice in the 2012 Paralympics, ed. D. Jackson, C.E.M. Hodges, M. Molesworth, and R. Scullion, 123–137. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Mudhar, Raju. 2015. Canadians, Americans Use Apps Differently, Study Says. The Toronto Star, May 14.Google Scholar
  42. Murthy, Dhiraj. 2013. Twitter. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  43. Naughton, John. 2006. Blogging and the Emerging Media Ecosystem. Interactive Digital Media Blog. https://robertoigarza.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/art-blogging-and-the-emerging-media-ecosystem-naughton-2006.pdf. Accessed 20 March 2015.
  44. ———. 2016. “#Twitter Crisis? Not If It Decides It Can Be a Smaller, Smarter Platform. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/14/what-twitter-needs-to-do-next. Accessed 4 April 2016.
  45. Nee, Rebeca Coates. 2015. Gatekeeping the 2012 Olympic Games: Did NBC Fail the Social Media Audience? Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 92 (1): 77–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Negroponte, Nicholas. 1996. Being Digital. London: Coronet Books.Google Scholar
  47. Nu, Tim. 2013. Paralympics Ad ‘Meet the Superhumans’ Powers to Film Craft Grand Prix. Tom Tagholm’s gritty triumph. Ad Week Blog Network, June 22. http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/paralympics-ad-meet-superhumans-powers-film-craft-grand-prix-15059. Accessed 7 April 2016.
  48. Pate, Joshu, Robin Hardin, and Brody Ruihley. 2013. The Social Media Games: An Analysis of Paralympic Athletes’ Tweets. Paper presented at the North American Society for Sport Management. http://news.sky.com/story/1475970/burden-of-disability-eased-but-at-what-price
  49. Plank, Elizabeth. 2016. Reliable Sources. November 13: CNN Television. 11.00 am. www.elizabethplank.com
  50. Pointon, Ann. 1997. Disability and Documentary. In Framed: Interrogating Disability in the Media, ed. A. Pointon and C. Davies, 84–92. London: BFI.Google Scholar
  51. Porter, Ryan. 2016. Viewership Numbers Not the Only Way to Measure TV Success. Toronto Star, October 19: E1 & E4.Google Scholar
  52. PWC Report. 2011. Changing the Game: Outlook for the Global Sports Market to 2015. PriceWaterhouse Cooper Ltd. http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/hospitality-leisure/pdf/changing-the-game-outlook-for-the-global-sports-market-to-2015.pdf. Accessed 11 April 2015.
  53. Shakespeare, Tom. 2013. Disability Rights and Wrongs Revisited. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  54. Smith, Kel. 2013. Digital Outcasts: Moving Technology Without Leaving People Behind. Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Smith, Nigel, and Andy Thomas. 2009. Disability, Sport and Society: An Introduction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  56. Söderström, Sylvia. 2013. Digital Differentiation in Young People’s Internet Use—Eliminating or Reproducing Disability Stereotypes. Future Internet 5 (2): 190–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Statista: The Statistics Portal. 2016. Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of September 2016, Ranked by Number of (Monthly) Active Users (in Millions). https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/. Accessed 4 November 2016.
  58. Stroud, Clover. 2013. Ellie Simmonds on Life After London 2012. The Telegraph, August 5. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/10218168/Paralympic-swimmer-Ellie-Simmonds-on-life-after-London-2012.html. Accessed 20 November 2016.
  59. Trevisan, Filippo. 2015. Contentious Disability Politics on the World Stage: Protest at the 2012 London Paralympics. In Reframing Disability?: Media, (Dis)empowerment, and Voice in the 2012 Paralympics, ed. Daniel Jackson, Caroline E.M. Hodges, Mike Molesworth, and Richard Scullion, 26–36. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  60. Walker, Peter, and Alexandra Topping. (2013). Paralympics Legacy Fails to Shift Attitudes to Disabled People. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/aug/29/paralympics-legacy-disabled-people. Accessed 25 March 2016.
  61. Walsh, Alison. 2015. Out of the Shadows and into the Light? The Broadcasting Legacy of the 2012 Paralympics for Channel 4. In Reframing Disability?: Media, (Dis)empowerment, and Voice in the 2012 Paralympics, ed. Daniel Jackson, Caroline E.M. Hodges, Mike Molesworth, and Richard Scullion, 26–36. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  62. Williams, John. 2013. The 2012 Olympics: A Lasting Inspiration? Sociology Review 22 (3): 2–4.Google Scholar
  63. Wilson, Pamela E., and Gerald Clayton. 2010. Sports and Disability. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2 (3): S46–S54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.02.002. Accessed 7 April 2016.
  64. Wolfson, Lisa, and Scott Moritz. 2016. AT&T Buys Time Warner. Toronto Star, October 24: B1.Google Scholar
  65. The World Bank. 2016, May 17. World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends. http://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2016. Accessed 20 November 2016.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liam French
    • 1
  • Jill M. Le Clair
    • 2
  1. 1.University of St Mark and St JohnPlymouthUK
  2. 2.Coventry UniversityCoventryUK

Personalised recommendations