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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Disability and the Media

ISBN 9780230293205
Publication Date May 2015
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Key Concerns in Media Studies

Media is a significant part of contemporary society and culture, and is subsequently crucial to our understanding of disability. How exactly does the media interact with disability and vice versa? Does the media adequately reflect the lives of people with disabilities or offer a means of social inclusion? Does the media perpetuate stigma or deny access to those with disabilities?

This concise, integrated introduction to the complex relationship between disability and the media offers a road map to the key areas of participation, access and representation. Bringing together international theoretical work and research on disability, with analysis and examples across a diverse range of media forms – from radio, to news, popular television and new digital technologies – the text explores the potential for establishing a more diverse, rich and just media. It is an invaluable resource for students of Media and Communication Studies, Cultural Studies and Disability Studies.

Katie Ellis is a Senior Research Fellow in Disability, Media and Internet Studies at Curtin University, Australia. She has participated in several feature film and documentary productions in both research and production roles and has mentored people with disabilities interested in film production as part of a Lotterywest funded community initiative for culturally and linguistically diverse youth with disabilities. Her main areas of research focus on disability, cinema and digital and networked media, extending across both issues of representation and active possibilities for social inclusion.
Gerard Goggin is Professor of Media and Communications the University of Sydney, Australia. He has had a long-time interest in disability and media, dating back to the early 1990s, when he worked with disability groups and media organizations on new media policy. He has published on a wide range of aspects of disability and media, including the representation of disability in media, celebrity, sport, refugees, the employment of people with disabilities in the film industry, and online and mobile media. He has also undertaken commissioned research for the then Australian Film Commission on the representation of people with disabilities in the screen industries.

1. Introduction: Why Does Disability Matter for Media?
2. Understanding Disability and Media
3. Media's Role in Disability
4. The News on Disability
5. Beyond Disabled Broadcasting.
6. Disability and Media Work
7. Conclusion: Doing Justice to Disability and Media.


This book really does take a 360 view of media and disability, by merging an analysis of creation, representation, and accessibility with a discussion of how this empowers disabled people to contribute diverse content to popular culture.' – Beth Haller, Professor of Journalism and New Media, Towson University, USA
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