Paralympics get social

Online and social media content is trumping traditional media in coverage from London

The Paralympics are underway, with the opening ceremony finishing in London a few hours ago. Mainstream media coverage in Australia � and, indeed, most countries � is nowhere near as extensive as it was for the �proper� Olympics, but online and social media contents allows the athletes to still get the attention they deserve.

Already, footage (some of it admittedly rather shaky) of the opening ceremony featuring a �Big Bang� narrated, appropriately, by Stephen Hawking, has found its way onto YouTube:

But more significant is the work of the likes of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) to utilise online content to spread the word. Writing in The Conversation, Keith Lyons, Director of the National Institute of Sports Studies at the University of Canberra, reports on the presence of �another very significant resource that�s making Paralympic performance more visible than ever before. These will be the first Paralympic games where information about each Australian Paralympian will be available on Wikipedia�.

And it�s working. In the last month there have been 80,000 visits to Australian Paralympians� pages. Plus, 19 Wikinews articles have been viewed a total of 30,000 times. And there will even be an Australian Paralympic Wikinews reporter at the Games.

It�s great to see online content is taking the lead. The Olympics themselves were wonderful, but in many ways the Paralympics are even more extraordinary and it�s about time they received the appropriate coverage.


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