Publication Details

Tanner, S., Haswell, S. & Lake, M. "Promoting the ideals of integration and diversity. Media coverage of Special Olympics Australia." Australian Journal of Communication 30 .3 (2003): 123-141.


Australia's media organisations have long had an obsession with the exploits of our sporting 'champions', both on and off the field. This coverage is often said to be a response to the demands of a sports-mad nation. In a society in which sport is often considered a symbol of unity and integration, this paper investigates whether the media (1) contributes to the spirit of diversity by covering sport involving people with intellectual disabilities, and (2) encourages greater awareness of disability issues by writing with authority and understanding, or instead promotes elitism by focusing on so-called 'real sports' that feature able-bodied elite athletes and exclude those categorised as 'non sports' because they feature people with disabilities.