Reality television is a genre of television programming that presents supposedly unscripted dramatic 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 genre, which has existed in some form or another since the early years of television programming, exploded as a phenomenon around 1999–2000 with the success of such television series such as Big Brother and Survivor. Big BrotherSurvivor 
Documentary-style Documentary-style Competition/game shows Self-improvement/makeover Renovation Social experiment Dating shows Talk shows Hidden cameras Supernatural and paranormal Hoaxes
Pros: It is fascinating to see how people speak and behave in unusual situations. They teach us something about human nature and so broaden our experience. Can inspire and motivate people to make positive changes in their life Provides people with a sense of connection to contestants or other members of the general public when voting for the same contestant Allows people to live vicariously through others – although this can also be a con
Cons: Ethically questionable at times Can give people false ideas about what their life should look like i.e. That people should be trying to be better than what they are e.g. Extreme Makeover Can give people false ideas about how to change their life e.g. The Biggest Loser may have a positive message but to lose so much weight in such an extreme way is an unhealthy and even dangerous way to do so Decline in acting as an art form and drama series. Due to the overwhelming presence of reality TV, viewers have a limited choice in watching other genres
There are varying extremes of reality TV shows The GOOD Bondi Rescue follows the work of lifeguards at one of the world's busiest beaches performing numerous rescues and preventive actions every day and teaches beach safety. How to Look Good Naked sends a positive message to women that it is not surgery, diets and extreme changes in your look that counts when self esteem is low, but changing the way you think of yourself. Example clip
How to Look Good Naked http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvRnaIkIjvc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvRnaIkIjvc
The BAD Extreme Makeover sends the negative message that the only way you will feel better about yourself is if you have surgery and change the way you look, then your life will be better! The Biggest Loser feeds on the idea of winning at all costs. If you dont win you really are a loser! Self esteem is crushed all in the hope of increased ratings. Example clip
Competing on a reality TV show for a life saving kidney? Not being told your father has passed away whilst competing on a lengthy tv show?
May be asked to perform acts which may be distressing or humiliating and difficult to refuse Refusal may lead to eviction, criticism or incurring a penalty Worry about the reaction of the viewing public and its impact on their reputation and career
Cash prizes, the prospect of fame, celebrity interviews, pictures in glossy magazines etc may undermine their ability to think rationally Appeals to personal greed
Playing on peoples fear... Everyone has a price.. Whats yours? Fear Factor
Some have appeared on the edge of sanity, and one person in a reality tv setting has threatened suicide Does pre-show psychological assessment screen unstable individuals out, or in? Psychologists involved in programs that would never be approved by an ethics board – Should their professional ethics forbid their participation?
Reality TV shows often glorify superficial characteristics such as physical beauty over spiritual strength and thus set a poor example for teenagers, with whom the shows are especially popular. According to network statistics, twelve – seventeen year-olds say that three of their four favourite shows are reality TV shows.
When should the people behind the lens step in?
Bibliography blog.eyeem.com/?p=2494 How to Look Good Naked Retrieved October 8, 2011, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvRnaIkIjvc National Geographic Adventure Bondi Rescue Retrieved 10 October, 201,1 from http://natgeotv.com.au/tv/bondi-rescue/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvRnaIkIjvc National Geographic Adventure Bondi Rescue Retrieved 10 October, 201,1 from http://natgeotv.com.au/tv/bondi-rescue/ Reality Television retrieved 8 October, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_television Sokol, D., & Wilson, J. (2007, May 30). Ethics of Reality TV. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from BBC NEWS UK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6702315.stm The Biggest Loser Retrieved October 10, 2011, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZW0Nd3JFmc The Biggest Loser Retrieved October 10, 2011, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZW0Nd3JFmc www.vincentchow.net/images/extreme-makeover.jpg