Images of Disability in News Media: Implications for Further Research

dc.contributor.authorHaller, Beth A.
dc.contributor.departmentTowson University. Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studiesen_US
dc.descriptionPaper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL on November 19-23, 1997.en_US
dc.description.abstractEven in the 1990s, little research has focused on how local media can more often and more accurately cover the disability community and disability issues. Some positive news coverage arose in the late 1980s because of the disability community's growing status as a minority group striving for equal civil rights. Other positive coverage reflected the consumer model, in which equity in society for people with disabilities is seen as good economic sense. A new negative image, however, includes the business model, which depicts economic equity for people with disabilities as costly to the American business community. Another issue is whether people with disabilities are given a "voice" in the news media--are they speaking for themselves? Mass media researchers should be looking for valid sources in the news; they should continue to assess who is speaking for the disability community in the news media. Communication research should continue to assess why and how news media prop up "ableist" views within society. Research must also assess journalists' attitudes about disability. The news media have begun to successfully change some of their language about disability--they are now likely to use "disabled" rather than "handicapped," or person with AIDS rather than AIDS victim. The media's powerful place in the social construction of people with disabilities may become a positive, rather than negative, force, and the future research of communication scholars must be focused on assessing this potential change.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipNational Communication Associationen_US
dc.format.extent8 pagesen_US
dc.genreconference papersen_US
dc.relation.isAvailableAtTowson University
dc.subjectCivil rightsen_US
dc.subjectDisability discriminationen_US
dc.subjectDisabilities -- Press coverageen_US
dc.subjectRole of mass mediaen_US
dc.subjectPress researchen_US
dc.subjectPeople with disabilitiesen_US
dc.titleImages of Disability in News Media: Implications for Further Researchen_US


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