2 Why is Big Brother so successful? I think we’ve all been asking ourselves this for years.Big Brother uses a hybridised genre of documentary to construct reality throughout the programme.Social issues can be highlighted by the contestants/social actors which can raise questions and debates within society (ie. Racism)Uses interactivity to utilise the audience and make them interpellated within to the piece.Fly-on-the-wall style cinematography such as still shots and close ups help the audience feel close to the characters, some even gaining personal affection towards particular individuals (personal affection theory)Demand characteristics come into account with programmes such as this as the contestants/social actors behave in a manner which they believe is correct to do so in front of a camera. This can detract from what qualities the person has in real life, when a camera is not constantly observing a person.
3 What is Convergence and New Technologies? Convergence (in media, film, television) is the meeting of two or more forms of media, such as cross-media platforming which can link technologies such as the internet to media such as journalism.New Technologies are revolutionary forms of media such as the internet, special effects, high definition visuals, blu-ray etc. These are contemporary and can alter an audience’s reading of a text.Proliferation of technology also defines how far technology has come and how productive it can be.
4 What is Globalisation?Globalisation is the spread of technology which encompasses both regional and international relations.Globalisation can be achieved through cross-media-convergence and different platforms to get a message to the world.Film premieres that are held on the same date across the world sometimes rely on globalisation for marketing and advertising purposes.The internet is usually imperative to this process, but synergistic tie-ins and marketing deals with major conglomerates help too.
5 What is Representation? The way in which something/someone is shown.For example certain mannerisms, phrases, colloquialisms etc. can help fit a person into a social representation.Aspects such as gender, region, age, class/status, ethnicity, ability/disability and sexuality are important when discussing representation.Stereotypes are also used and a documentary, film or television drama will use archetypes to make the audience feel good and to highlight positive events.The opposite of this is the use of caricature which connotes a sense of unhappy, flawed and even ‘socially abnormal’ characters.Stereotypes are important because audiences generally can identify them and connect with them quicker than they can with other characters such as someone who is represented as unbiased.
6 What is the purpose of Media Convergence and how is it achieved? The purpose of media convergence is to sell a text to an audience and to supply different realms of information to an audience.Combining sections of the media helps to do this and interactive forms of media such as online blogs, Facebook (both internet) and red-button voting (television) give the audience a sense of belonging to the programme and this creates loyalty between audience (as consumer) and programme makers (such as channels, producers, auteurs etc.)Media convergence uses the theory that all media and audiences are linked, so the media dependency model (Ball-Rukeach et. Al) is used within convergence to connect text and audience.
7 What are the benefits of convergence for conglomerates? Conglomerates utilise convergence to market their texts.They use different platforms to gain ‘followers’ on many levels.Films for example try to get as many people into the cinema so market across different platforms (ie, Quantum of Solace was marketed in newspapers, the internet, television, synergistic tie-ins etc.)These different forms of media appeal to different age groups stereotypically, for example a younger person is more likely to use the internet.This means a benefit for the conglomerates as they can gain more revenue from different audience members through both age, gender etc.
8 Why is convergence controversial? Convergence is controversial as it sometimes uses techniques which allow passive intake from an audience (Hypodermic needle/Magic Bullet) and this restricts audience interaction and participation. This can be deemed unethical.Can make people become dependant upon media (Uses and gratifications theory) due to the saturation marketing appearing on all forms of accessible media.For example, audiences may get overwhelmed if they see a film trailer on the television in their lounge and then go online later and find the same trailer on a social networking site.Convergence can sometimes lend too much focus onto other platforms detracting from the equality of the media.
9 Convergence in Big Brother Uses digital technology to increase the profit margins of the programme.Big Brother is now a globalised enterprise, which appeals to audiences of all cultures.Mobile Phone updates, web updates, competitions associated with major brands (ie. Win a place on Big Brother with Kit Kat) all add a feeling of interaction between audience and text.This ultimately boosts Endemol’s revenue, but the company have to be very careful with the figures which the show represents (ie. racists, fighting, bullying etc.)