Should disability issues have a special platform or still be part of mainstream media?
A research by Cheta Nilawaty Prasetyaningrum, supported by IALF and Australian Awards
Disability issues have become media hype in Indonesia after the regulation was legalised by the house of representative in 2016. However, only a few media are willing to publish the disability news. Because the readers are not familiar with the issue, it was considered as unpopular. The issue is not as well-known as political or economic news. As a consequence, its readership rate islower than political or economic issues. Some media which publish a disability news tend to attract the readers attention by presenting disability image as a false impression. Therefore, in terms of reimaging the false impression, should disability issues have a special platform or still be part of mainstream media?
The False Impression of Mainstream Media to Disability Image
1. Inspiration Porn
Inspiration porn is definedas the way people with disability are presented by other people as a contradictory role model. The person with disability is described not only as strong but also someone who has to be felt sorry for. In another words, even if disability is becoming more acceptable, abnormality is still the biggest fear.
2. Misusing disability terminology
Disability terminology tends to be used by media as character trait, plot device, or bad atmosphere. These representations are not accurate or fair. Sometimes disability is reinforced by the story background such as describing people with disability as ignorant and having negative attitudes.
Shakespeare, in Kasap & Gurcinar (2018).
3. A seldom discussedissue
Because disability issues are considered as unpopular issues, only 1 percent of media in The United States have a fancy to cover disability issues, even journalists probably tend to extend publishing disability issues until one year later. This action is related with readership rate. Therefore, the issue is difficult to generate the readers’ attention.
4. Hyper heroism
Hyper heroism is the interpretation of the media about ordinary behaviour of people with disability in an exaggerated way. Hyper heroism sometimes demonstrates a misconception of a judgement which is based on physical bias. For example, superheroes are rarely depicted as humans with prostheses or bionic organs.