Construction of the Image of Persons with Disabilities in Latvian Mass Media

  • Velga Polinska
  • Dite Liepa
Keywords: mass media, people with disabilities, reality construction, content analysis, linguistic analysis


Reality construction on the Internet is an inseparable part of human lives. On one hand, many people choose to construct their own (fake) realities. On the other hand, several groups of society are affected by the realities built by the mass media. Not everything published online can be considered journalism; however, professional journalism has an important role in moulding public opinion. Thus, the functions of the media should not only be considered but also exploited deliberately and purposefully. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

The article is devoted to the analysis of the contents and linguistic features of the articles about people with disabilities published on one of the most popular news websites in Latvia – The results show that both content and linguistic choices, although they are mainly unintentional, can produce and propagate misconceptions about people with disabilities. Yet the solutions targeting this issue are to be determined.