Shawn Burns |”The framers and the framed: News media and disability” | TEDxUWollongong 2018

Former journalist, news director and now journalism lecturer, Shawn Burns wants the news media to think about the way it represents disability and, in so doing, help create a more inclusive society. His passion and activism for change is driven from experience: Shawn’s son, Mac, has cerebral palsy.
Shawn argues most reporting of people who live with disability falls into two categories, at either end of a spectrum – tragedy, or heroism. He believes news media has an important role to play in society’s understanding of disability and its intrinsic part in community.

Shawn Burns is a journalism lecturer at the University of Wollongong, where he is completing his PhD studies. Shawn’s research examines the representation of people with disability news media, journalism pedagogy, and innovation in newsroom and journalism practice. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at