Disability and the Media

1042 Words5 Pages
Portraying The Disabled In the media today, people with disabilities are perceived as tragic heroes or as medical miracles. They are rarely seen for their intelligence or for their accomplishments excluding their overcoming disability hardships. The textbook, Everything’s an Argument, contains an excerpt from Charles A. Riley II 's book “Disability and the Media: Prescriptions for Change.” Riley, a journalism professor at New York’s Baruch College, uses appeal to ethos, logos, and pathos to persuade his audience that their methods of portraying disabled people are in dire need of change. Riley reports that disabled celebrities are seen as the object of pity, ultimately depriving them of feelings of normality. As well as pointing…show more content…
He uses such diction as “allegorical” and “hagiographer,” as well as providing the definitions or backgrounds of certain terms along the borders of the text. Using such words and providing their definitions gives the reader a sense of feeling that what they are reading is important. This helps make his argument effective because the reader will acknowledge the authors good sense of vocabulary and that alone will show he is even more credible. The author uses this as an appeal to ethos because he is gaining credibility from his use of diction. One of the appeals that make Riley 's argument very effective is his appeal to pathos. He compares his appeal to how a person with a disability is displayed as a “poster child” in exchange for sympathy and donations, “bringing her financial rewards of sponsorships, motivational speaking gigs, and modeling contracts at the expense of being turned into a latter day poster child” (642). This effectively supports Riley 's claim because the audience will now feel sympathetic for the disabled portrayed in the media as someone needing assistance or a sponsor. Another example is when he attempts to determine how much the media is demeaning disabled people as a group, “It is impossible to know the full degree of damage wreaked by the demeaning and wildly inaccurate portrayal of people with disabilities, nor is it altogether clear whether much current progress is
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