Local Indonesian Newspapers Representations of Disability in Asian Para Games 2018

Mr Slamet Thohari4

4Universitas Brawijaya, Malang, Indonesia

The Asian Para Games 2018 was held in Jakarta, 6-13 October 2018. Joined by 43 countries and 2762 athletes, the Indonesian Government proudly declared it was one of the biggest sports events for people with disabilities ever held in Asia. This research explores how local Indonesian newspapers in three provinces in Java, represented people with disabilities during Asian para games. Using the content analysis method, it examines four local newspapers, Surya (East Java), Kedaulatan Rakyat (Yogyakarta), and Suara Merdeka (Central Java), and Wartakota (Jakarta). The findings show that Asian Para games coverage was  34% of the whole sports news reporting. It also brings evidence that most of the pictures of people with disabilities portrayed them in a passive performance. In terms of perspective, promoting equal rights (human rights-based), as the primary purpose of Asian Para-games, is not a popular approach of depiction.  Instead, the superscript and the inspiration model are the most common mindset describing disabled athletes.


Slamet Thohari is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology and a senior researcher at Centre for Disability studies and services, Universitas Brawijaya. He is also the Indonesian chair of AIDRAN (Australia Indonesia Disability and Advocacy Network). He perused his degree at Department of Philosophy at Universitas Gadjah Mada and Departement of Sociology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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