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Gïti Hatef-Rossa

Gïti Hatef-Rossa


Representations of Disability in Children's Television Programmes:
A Critical Analysis

(Supervisors: Hans-Jürgen Bucher, Trier / Christoph Vatter, Saarland
Mentoring: Lianne Moyes, Montréal)

My project aims at understanding how disability is featured, narrated and visualised in children’s television, taking into account interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives on the constructs of "disability", "diversity" and "inclusion" (Media Studies and Critical Disability Studies).

Data were collected from following broadcasters:

• KiKA (Der Kinderkanal von ARD und ZDF), Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Rundfunkanstalten in Deutschland (ARD) and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)
• CBeebies, British Broadcasting Company (BBC).

Public broadcasting works within a socio-political framework, its output and targets are based on a broadcasting act. The data sampling covers two random weeks of programmes (Mon – Sun) which will be analysed with a view to identifying the degree of representations and practices of inclusion (and exclusion).

Descriptive analysis will focus on identifying programmes and genres to prepare the theory-based (deductive) and exploratory (inductive) development of coding categories for representations of disability in the data. Categories (i.e. modes of representation) will then be organised in a code system which will then be applied in the next round of data: sampling prototypical programmes for a series of more in-depth case studies on the narratives of inclusion and exclusion.

The core of the study will focus on exploring sequences and images that illustrate narratives of disability. My in-depth analysis will be accompanied by a formative and communicative validation process honouring a methodological principle put forth by the Disability Rights Movement: Nothing about us without us! The validation process will involve a discussion of interpretations of sequences and images with researches with disabilities and other stakeholders.

At the 56th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (2001) a committee was established to work on "proposals for an international convention to uphold the dignity and rights of persons with disabilities” (UN 2016). “Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities” (CRPD) was adopted by the United Nations. This study seeks to contribute to the discourses in Media Studies and Critical Disability Studies, providing an account of the ways in which children’s television programmes depict disability in culturally diverse contexts with a particular emphasis on identities, representation and participation.


since 2019
Doctoral Candidate at IRTG Diversity
1993 - 1999
B.A. studies and subsequent degree Magistra Artium in theatre, film and television studies, art history and Romance studies (Italian) at the Ruhr-University Bochum
Study visit, scholarship at the Università per Stranieri di Siena
1996 - 1998
Radio and television editor, traineeship at the Grimme Institute, European Union funding project "On Air - More Colour in the Media" (stations: RBB Berlin, BBC London, RAI Firenze)

Work Experience

since 2021
Autor, "LEGO Friends Magazine": Blue Ocean Entertainment, Germany / The LEGO® Group, Denmark
since 2020
Autor, TV/Medien: "Zeit online"
since 2019
Lecturer, Intermedia Design and Communication Design, University of Applied Sciences Trier
since 2017
Lecturer, Media Studies: University of Trier
2016 - 2017
Seminar leader / coaching: team development, intercultural cooperation for the Immigration and Integration Service, Wetzlar and ARTE Germany, Baden-Baden
since 2016
Lecturer at the ifs - internationale filmschule, Cologne
since 2006
Freelance Editor and Script Consultant: WDR, Cologne
2002 - 2017
Lecturer, Media "Optionalbereich": Ruhr-University Bochum
2002 - 2004
Research Assistant, Student Counselling "Optionalbereich": Ruhr - University of Bochum
2001 - 2002
Presenter and Reporter: political talk show: "Vetro" / "Cosmo-TV": WDR, Cologne
1998 - 2000
Editor children's and boys' television: ARD and WDR, Cologne
Producer, Television 1 Childens' Factuals: BBC, London

Experience as a Juror (selection):
2016 - 2021
Juror, Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award, The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, New York
Juror, International Emmy Awards, The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, Cologne
since 2013
Member of the Nomination Committee and Jury, Fiction / Children's and Youth Programme, "Grimme Prize", Marl
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