ERIC Number: ED351698
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Paternalism and Protest: The Presentation of Deaf Persons in the "New York Times" and "Washington Post."
Civil rights issues of disabled people are gradually gaining attention from the news media. Deaf persons made that clear in 1988 during the "Deaf President Now" movement at Gallaudet University. A study looked at "Washington Post" and "New York Times" coverage of deaf persons from 1986 to 1990 to quantify the coverage and presentation of deaf persons. The research compared articles on the Deaf President Now movement and general articles on deaf persons to discern if deaf people are covered within traditional or progressive disability models. The analysis looked at how the models were presented in terms of content and placement. The study also tried to discern any change in newspaper presentation after the Gallaudet protest. Both deaf and hearing coders were used in analyzing the data. Findings showed that deaf persons and their issues are rarely prominent news unless they are involved in a civil rights protest. When they are part of a protest, newspaper coverage follows a progressive model, showing deaf persons as a legitimate minority group and as culturally plural people. When they are covered within general news and features, many times they are presented as medically or economically defective. After the protest, the presentation of deaf persons improved and became more even-handed. In the two years after the protest, the number of stories reflecting the traditional forms of presentation fell from 62% to 40%. (Four tables of data are included and 37 references are attached.) (Author/SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Gallaudet University DC; Media Coverage; New York Times; Washington Post
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (75th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 5-8, 1992).