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Media Studies- What do you find irritating about a certain media text?

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What do you find irritating about a certain media text? A media text that I find quite irritating is the reality television programme "Big Brother". This programme has become something of a phenomenon since it began in the Netherlands in 1999, spreading throughout various countries - normally a series or two each year. The show is based around a number of contestants who are isolated from the outside world in a "Big Brother House" one by one being eliminated until there is an ultimate winner. The show relies on its vast audience to vote for whom they would like to be eliminated from the house each week. It is this huge response that the producers receive each year that keeps the show running, however over the years, this huge following has resulted in each contestant only applying for the show because of the quick rise to fame that follows after the show ends, and according to the Learning and Skills Council; "one in seven UK teenagers hope to gain fame by appearing on reality television". ...read more.


One example of this would be the fifth series of 'Celebrity Big Brother" (a spin off show of "Big Brother" containing contestants of a small celebrity status) which took place in January 2007, where a row sparked by racial comments towards Asian contestant Shilpa Shetty was heard around the world. Channel 4 stated that they received a record number of complaints citing racial bullying, and blamed producers for not intervening with the situation. The current prime minister Gordon Brown was hounded by the media to give his views on the incident, which one may find incredibly absurd, as it seems we live in a world where a television programme has more priority than important political affairs. The reaction in Shetty's native country, India, was also incredibly shocking as citizens took to the streets of India and burned effigies of the show's organisers. After this huge and rather outrageous reaction, many protested that "Big Brother" should be axed from Channel 4 and a new series should not return, however this is not happen and "Big Brother" returned in the summer for an eighth series. ...read more.


The media (magazines, newspapers etc.) observe this fascination and fuel it with articles that ridicule certain contestants to pass them up to the public for furthermore analysing and examination. However, the scrutiny of certain individuals on the show does not seem fair in my opinion, but the show has become so widespread it is now a known fact that any person that enters the house is aware that the media will ridicule their lifestyle. Screenwriter Sheryl Longin stated "the difference to the brain between watching reality television and scripted drama is like the difference to our vision between High Definition television and 1970's quality video". In my opinion this is incredibly unfortunate as television is being dominated by these reality television shows due to our obsession with other people's lives, which has reached a boiling point and shows such as "Big Brother" only fuel this fixation. Nevertheless, institutions will continue to produce reality television programmes like "Big Brother" as long as there is an audience to consume them. ...read more.

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