Disability Imaginaries in the News

Authored by: Tanya Titchkosky

The Routledge Companion to Disability and Media

Print publication date:  November  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138884588
eBook ISBN: 9781315716008
Adobe ISBN:


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In Western news media, the reader is invited and not merely from time to time, to imagine disability … and, then, imagine what life is like while disabled. The first part of the invitation asks the reader to remember that disability is easy to imagine; the second part, that it is nothing but difficult to live. And so, readers are invited into a restricted imaginary. This chapter explores this restriction as it appears in newspaper headlines and taglines in order to show how the imaginary organizes expectations regarding how disability/non-disability fit together as newsworthy. Revealing the social grounds and political implications of this imaginary could provide for a more complex and affirmative relation to disability by those who produce and consume the news.

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