Reality television does more harm than good (DEBATE)
Reality television has become very popular over the past decade with shows such as "Survivor", "Big Brother" and "The Apprentice" attracting big audiences and making a lot of money for broadcasters worldwide. A definition of reality television is quite difficult but at its most basic it means programmes that show things really taking place, rather than drama or comedy that follows a script. Typically reality TV involves a group of people who are not trained actors being filmed in unusual situations over a period of time. Sport and news programmes are not considered reality TV.
The sheer number of reality programmes is now driving TV producers to create filthier, more corrupt reality shows
Reality TV is actually getting worse as the audience becomes more and more used to the genre. In a search for ratings and media coverage, shows are becoming ever more vulgar and offensive, trying to find new ways to shock. When the British Big Brother was struggling for viewers in 2003, its producers responded by attempting to shock the audience that little bit more1. "Big Brother" programmes have also shown men and women having sex on live TV, all in a desperate grab for ratings to justify their continued existence. Others have involved fights and racist bullying. Do we let things continue until someone has to die on TV to boost the ratings?
1 Humphrys, J. (2004, August 28). Take this oath: First, do no harm. Retrieved July 4, 2011, from The Guardian:
Reality shows are not becoming more corrupt or more filthy. What has changed is rather what the public defines as acceptable viewing. In other words, the gap between what is actually real and what is presented as reality is closing thanks to modern reality programs. And the gap is closing due to popular demand to see reality on their TV screens. For example, the sex shown on Scandinavian episodes of Big Brother is not shocking or unrealistic, it is only unusual in the context of what we expect to see on television. The fact it was shown only illustrates that the gap between what is actually real and what is presented as reality on television is closing. If the proposition has an issue therefore with what modern reality shows are presenting, they have an issue with society at large, not reality programs.
Even if were the case that reality programmes are getting more corrupt and filthy, viewers should take the advice of former U.S. President Bush Jr. and 'put the off button on.'