An 11-country analysis of newspaper coverage of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games

Jadeera Phaik Geok Cheong, Selina Khoo, Chiaki Inoue, Jhalukpreya Surujlal, Niki Cheong, Mahdi Esfahani, Po-Hsiu Lin, Mark Brooke, Yan Li, Heaja Chun, Abdulrahman Alshahrany, Ali Al-Shamli, Rizal Razman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The Paralympic Games is the largest sporting competition for athletes with an impairment. This competition has, however, had limited news coverage in the past particularly compared to the Olympic Games. This study analyzes newspaper coverage of the 2016 Paralympic Games by two newspapers in 11 countries (China, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom). The coverage period spanned 7-19 September 2016. Text and pictures were coded according to page number, content, gender, sport, and nationality of person. Media content analysis was used to extract coverage of themes. Results are presented using descriptive statistics and frequency counts. Of the 623 articles and 541 photographs analysed, a small percentage (7.3%) were on the front pages of newspapers. Most articles and photographs (78.7%) were about athletes or teams. There was more coverage of male athletes (53.2%) and local athletes (71.6%). Points of interest The Paralympic Games has historically received less newspaper coverage than the Olympic Games. This study examined newspaper coverage of the 2016 Paralympic Games from 11 countries. For the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, newspaper coverage in most countries was good, lasting nearly the whole duration, and this also included a number of front page reports. The type of coverage and number of reports differ between countries. Generally, the highest medal winning countries gave more media attention to the Games. The news reports focused primarily on their local athletes and teams. Moreover, males had more news coverage than females overall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-811
Number of pages17
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number5
Early online date7 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Paralympics
  • disabilities
  • impairment
  • media
  • content analysis


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