• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline the arguments about the reliability of documentaries as ways of representing 'reality'

Extracts from this document...


Outline the arguments about the reliability of documentaries as ways of representing 'reality'. Illustrate with reference to a range of documentary material. Documentaries aim to show information in a way that is most believable to a viewer. Realism is extremely important to a documentary and is often shown by; an authoritative presenter, the use of 'voice-over' commentaries, recorded interviews, visual evidence via location shots or archive film, hand-held cameras and limited used of special effects. It is argued that documentaries are "like plays, novels and poems - the are fictional in form and have no measurable social ability" whereas others argue that documentaries are the only type of genre "that can really capture the spontaneity and immediacy of real life". ...read more.


to help sort out the security problems at the airport, yet other people would also watch it and not be able to do anything about it, although I think it would make them re-think about making a journey from that airport. With documentaries there are some limitations to assuming that what we see is actually 'real life' this is because when documentaries are using like video diaries or surveillance cameras the participants can sometimes be aware of this and can act differently to how they would normally act if they didn't know the cameras were there, they could also show some biased opinions or exaggerate their actions, subconsciously or not. This suggests that documentaries with hidden/secret cameras may have more credibility as being 'real'. ...read more.


This documentary does, however, represent reality to some extent because they use secret footage of the police officers and have filmed them talking in real-life locations such as pubs, clubs, in the street and whilst travelling in a car, which shows a 'normal' world. Although many documentaries do portray certain features that question their representation of reality, other documentaries are clearly focused on showing things as close to the truth as possible. Feature documentaries such as one on animals and wildlife for example are well researched and their main aim is to simply inform the audiences rather that try to influence them in any way. Even though most documentaries try to portray as close to the truth as possible other motives behind the documentaries could suggest that they aren't, in fact as reliable or close to reality as they could be. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Television section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Television essays

  1. Wrestling and Reality Culture

    The critics of wrestling have not stopped its tremendous success across the world. Wrestling can be seen as a form of entertainment, just as movies and sports represent the same kind of enjoyment to viewers.

  2. Television and the distortion of reality

    Actors on television must be the dirtiest people in the world, because I never see them in the shower, except to have sex in. Even when they show that, it is just sex, and no soap! The sixth and final category deals with crime.

  1. How does Michael Moore make his arguments in 'Bowling for Columbine'

    Michael uses clever and cunning tactics by making Heston feel at ease and reveal his true self. Michael says he is a member of the NRA (National Rifle Association)

  2. Part 1- research other documentaries

    Through the use of the massive resource of the internet and relevant academic texts I found that the major institutions that produce documentaries are ITV, the BBC and Channel 4. However the major Television channels also contract out to independent companies such as In-house documentaries and DocHouse, DocHouse has helped

  1. Identify and compare the main conventions of two documentaries and explain what affect that ...

    Moore was determined to show his documentary to the public, to do so he had to sell his house and hold bingo nights to fund his documentary. It was however one of the most financially successful documentaries ever made. Moore attempted television but did not succeed to get his ratings up.

  2. A journey into the Realm of Dungons and Dragons

    The show got its second airing in 1987 on Saturday morning as part of the line up on "Going Live".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work