Although reality television may be popular source of entertainment, it is doing more harm to the society by corrupting its thoughts; and therefore the harms of reality television outweigh its positives.
What is Reality Television?
Reality television is a television-programming genre that presents purportedly unscripted melodramatic or “humorous” situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded.
The content aired on reality television programs plays a major role in manipulating the viewers’ thoughts about certain aspects of the society and help create stereotypes in the minds of the people through false representation of facts.
Reality television program participants become victims of the edited material aired on TV and their image is hampered. The competition in the shows is extremely intense and brings out the worst in the participants.
Reality television occupies a large amount of precious time of the viewers, thus preventing them from performing much more productive activities.
Counter Arguments –
Reality television helps satisfy the needs of the people for ‘juicy’ or ‘spiced’ content on the screen, thus attracting large audiences. It acts as a medium of escape for the viewers from their everyday chores. However, the reality TV shows are becoming boring and pointless.
Reality television helps provide a platform to bring the common man in the ‘spotlight’. But there are allegations of reality TV shows being rigged.
Reality television provides an economical form of entertainment, thus proving to be profitable for the television producers since no major celebrities are usually involved. Nevertheless, the production cost averages between $800,000 and $2,000,000 plus per episode.
Summarize and restate the arguments and counter arguments and thus, prove that the harms of reality television outweigh its positives.
Does Reality Television Do More Harm Than Good?
According to the American Time Survey 2011 conducted by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics U.S. Department Of Labor, “The average American spends 2.4 hours everyday in front of the television screen, this means he spends 16.8 hours a week and 873.6 hours a year watching television.” (“American”) Seven years of our lifetime in front of the idiot box can surely have a great influence on us, especially a negative one. One of the most prominent genres of modern television is the unscripted reality-based television program or commonly called “Reality TV” by the viewers. So what is reality television? Annette Hill in her article “Reality TV: Audiences and Popular Factual Television”, describes reality television as “a television programming genre that presents purportedly unscripted melodramatic or “humorous” situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded.” (“Reality”) Reality TV programs like “The Bachelor”, “Fear Factor”, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and many more have overtaken the prime television slots and have become an integral part of the American family-couch time. Although reality television may be popular source of entertainment, it is doing more harm to the society by corrupting its thoughts; and therefore the harms of reality television outweigh its positives.
If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!
First of all the content which is aired on the reality television programs is highly sexual and violent. Social cognitive theory suggests that people can discover meaningful sources of identity in their teens that feel “connected” to what they’re viewing. (288) According to the reports of attorney of law, Patrick A. Trueman, teens exposed to sexual material on television were more likely to be subject to premature sexual activities. America’s Next Top Model, a model hunt, has been repeatedly criticized for promoting
poor body image of women resulting in low self-esteem and eating disorders among the young viewers. These shows also play a major role in creating stereotypes in the minds of the audiences. The audiences relate the actions of the participants to the ethnic or regional background they belong to. One such show is “Jersey Shore”, a reality television series that follows the lives of eight housemates spending their summer in New Jersey; the highly sexual and abusive content aired on the show has created misconceptions in the minds of the people regarding the residents of New Jersey. The show portrays a negative image of the American youth to the world as that of disturbed and unsophisticated. Omarosa Manigault a participant on the show “The Apprentice” stated, “A friend of mine said, ‘The fabric of reality TV is conflict, so make sure that you’re either in the fight, breaking the fight up, or starting the fight.'”
The harms of reality televise are not only subjected to the audience but the participants and the crew in these shows too are pushed to the brink. The crews are made to work under unacceptable working conditions and are paid “dimes” for it. Three former employees of reality television shows, including “American Idol,” claim in a lawsuit filed that the producer forced them to work under “sweatshop” conditions and failed to pay for overtime hours they worked. The employees say the producer, Fremantle North America, forced them, to work up to 20 hours a day, seven days a week, sometimes without meal and rest periods, and that Fremantle falsified payroll records. (7)
The participants in the reality television programs often become a victim of the misleading edited material aired on TV, which can go a long way in hampering their image in the real world. The participants in shows such as “Big Brother” and “The Bachelor” are subject to no privacy. The editing
team crop the video footage in order to make it more entertaining, thus not revealing the whole truths. As a result the audience misinterprets their words and thus misconceptions are created in the minds of the viewers regarding the participants. Diana Eng a contestant on “Project Runway” stated in an interview, “One morning the crew scared me so bad I jumped and screamed. They said that wasn’t good, so I had to pretend to wake up again.” (“The Real”) The world of reality television has also revealed the ugly face of racism in the “Celebrity Big Brother racism controversy”. Fellow contestants Jade Goody, Jo O’Meara and Danielle Lloyd mocked Shilpa Shetty’s Indian accent and branded her as “The Indian” and a “dog”. (“Celebrity”) The highly competitive nature of the shows and the hunger to win usually brings out the worst in the participants. Sometimes even a lifetime may seem short enough to earn reputation however a moment of bad judgment is enough to lose it all.
Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.
In a world where time is money and every single second is precious reality television consumes a large amount of the productive time of the viewers. The viewers spend numerous hours in front of the television watching these shows, time that they can use to perform more productive activities. Also there has been a decline in the outdoor activities of young adults, who would prefer an hour in front of the screen rather than playing ball in the park. Robert Foehr in his article “Rideout” states, “Excessive TV viewing can contribute to poor grades, sleep problems, behavior problems, obesity, and risky behavior.” (“Rideout”)
However, we cannot be oblivious to the positive factors of this genre. Despite the numerous harms caused by reality television, the genre has become the most viewed form of television with its television rating soaring higher than ever.
Realty television is one of the best means of entertainment for the viewers. For the common man it acts as a medium of escape from the arid realities of everyday life since the viewers can relate themselves with the participants on the show. The major reason for the numerous reality television programs being aired nowadays is the audience’s thriving appetite for “juicy” or “spiced” content on the screen. However, the reality TV shows are soon becoming boring and pointless. Audiences have lost interest in the shows because lack of plot and repetition of themes. The show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” has received criticism globally from viewers according to whom the family is nothing but a laughing-stock.
Reality television programs like “American Idol” and “Master Chef” help provide a platform for the common man to express his talents and achieve his dreams. Reality television programs are a source of instant fame and recognition for the common herd. The sole purpose of these programs is to focus on the life of ordinary people and bring them in the “spotlight” rather than the major celebrities. These have given the world phenomenal talents in the form of Kelly Clarkson, season one winner of American Idol, and the extraordinaire chef Jennifer Behm, who won the second season of Master Chef USA, and many others. However there are allegations of reality TV shows being rigged. The contract signed by the contestants on the reality TV shows states that the producers posses the right to determine the winners. Hope Solo, a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, pointed in her journal “Solo: A Memoir Of Hope” a specific incident behind the scenes that led to her elimination. Although the actual number of votes may not be twisted, producers have other illusive means to manipulate the public opinion. Dian Anderson Minshall stated in her article “How Authentic Are Your Favorite Shows?” that “Tom Poe a contestant on America’s Got Talent, a talent show, who lied about being injured by a grenade and suffering a brain
injury while serving in Afghanistan insists the show is “rigged” and audiences are coached to support predetermined favorites.” (“How”)
Not only is reality television entreating but is economical as well. Producers nowadays are willing to invest in new reality TV ventures rather than sitcoms because of the huge difference in costs. Reality television programs fall cheaper to produce since no major celebrity is being paid a hefty fee. Advertisers are willing to pay millions for a 30 second commercials during the ad breaks. Nevertheless, the production cost averages between $800,000 and $2,000,000 plus per episode. Large sums of money are awarded to the winners of these shows. The cost for putting up the grand stages and sets for shows like “Survivor and American Idol” are exorbitant.
As we have known it that there are always “two sides of a coin”, both the merits and demerits of reality television are present. Like it or not reality TV will remain to be one if the most popular television genre as long as the viewers demand it. Reality television has corrupted the thoughts of the viewers and hampered their perceptions about certain aspects of the society. There is hardly any authenticity to the content aired on the reality television programs; the manufactured drama aired on these shows is not reality. These acknowledged negative factors surpass the mere qualities of reality television. As stated in the above augments, although reality television may be popular source of entertainment, it is doing more harm to the society by corrupting its thoughts; and therefore the harms of reality television outweigh its positives.