The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games held in Brazil served as the impetus for Para sport to receive more media exposure and consequently more public attention. How would broadcasters be able to contribute to further raising public interest in the coming Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games held at home and making everyone enjoy the Paralympic programme, and finally to helping achieve an inclusive society? In spring 2017, the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute held a symposium titled ”The Paralympic Games and the roles of broadcasting“ in its annual Bunken Forum. The Institute believed it would be timely and meaningful to discuss this issue when various efforts for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics coverage kicked off after having completed the broadcasts of the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
The symposium focused on the attempts made by Channel 4 of the United Kingdom, which reported the 2016 Rio Paralympics as well as the 2012 London Paralympics held at home, and by NHK, which aired the Rio Paralympics with full-scale play-by-play commentaries, in part as a preparation for the coming Tokyo Paralympics. Findings from a study on how these two broadcasters reported the Rio 2016 Paralympics were presented, based on which panelists involved in the Paralympic coverage discussed from different standpoints how broadcasters should report Para sport and how they would be able to contribute to the creation of an inclusive society.