Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Tanner, S. J., Green, K. & Burns, S. G. "Media coverage of sport for athletes with intellectual disabilities: The 2010 Special Olympics national Games examined." Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: quarterly journal of media research and resources .140 (2011): 107-116.


In April 2010, Adelaide hosted the IXth national Special Olympics – a sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This article explores how the print media covered the Games. In particular, our interest is in the language adopted by reporters to describe the athletes and their performances. We were interested to see whether journalists adopted sporting language in their accounts of performances or, alternatively, adopted language that focused on the individual athlete’s disability. The article explores a number of issues surrounding media coverage of sport for people with disabilities, including the extent to which media organisations perpetuate stereotypes about disability and whether this, if established, links back to the media’s reliance on traditional news values.