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The Ethics Of Actuality Television Questionable Multimedia Essay

Reality television can be an ever before popular genre seen by millions of folks all over the world. It is a form of entertainment that no other television set genres could outshine. However, the question has now arisen concerning whether the ethics of actuality tv set shows are indeed questionable by the modern culture.

Based on the evidence, it is clear that the ethics of simple fact television are most certainly doubtful when they beat their purpose of portraying the realities of life to the nation. Moreover, reality shows overlook the welfare of participants and won't acknowledge the effects it has on its audience in the United States of America and THE UK, Europe.

Therefore, it is time for reality tv set shows to rethink their actions in violating their honest code for the advantage of the show. They have to realize that folks are now aware of the ethics mixed up in production of actuality television shows and will definitely question them. Thus, the ethics of fact shows should be maintained.


"In law a guy is guilty when he violates the protection under the law of others. In ethics he's guilty if he only believes to do so. "

- Kant, I

(BrainyQuote 2010)

Reality television connects people to the real world. Shows like Survivor, Amazing Competition and The Bachelor have captivated audiences all over the world using its drama and organic emotions of common people rather than of paid celebrities. Adults, young adults and even children as young as five years old are glued to their television when these reality shows air. Fact shows, exactly like any other television set programs has its ethics that should be responsibly conserved and honored.

Lately, new simple fact shows are generally sprouting but their ethics have changed to meet its demand in today's world. As explained in 'About. com', the media have recognized that the so-

called "reality" shows are in fact profitable and therefore is continuing to grow in the recent years, (n. d. , p. 1 of 5). Although these ethics may have improved to draw in more viewers in this modern day and to improve television ratings, some of these ethics are still judged after by society.

Even though, a number of simple fact shows strongly practices its honest and moral code, contemporary society never does not pose the age-old question, which is, are the ethics of reality television shows questionable?

As years goes on, we see that the ethics of reality television shows are definitely questionable. There are numerous issues that pertains to this statement which will be the authenticity of reality shows, its influence on participants as well as viewers in the world.

The explanations why the ethics of reality shows are doubtful are shown in this record. The data and issues reviewed in this statement is confined to the United States of America and THE UK, Europe as most of the truth shows are created in these countries and therefore provides an array of information in the conclusion of this report.

2. 0 The Authenticity of Truth Television Shows

Reality tv set shows are meant to portray the substance of simple fact. These shows are created showing the followers about all the various life situations that they can relate to with their own lives. Thus, 'actuality' should be the key element of these shows. However, most truth shows nowadays, like 'Who desires to be always a superhero?' and 'Survivor' are deceiving its people in the name of 'actuality'. The authenticity of actuality tv shows are gradually fading in this modern time due to the development of hi-tech accessories. Killborn argued that the deceiving actuality shows are bringing viewers further from reality somewhat than closer.

2. 1 Editing steps are a major part

Most reality tv set shows are not authentic as providers encourage the use of editing tricks to produce shows with higher rankings. The truth of life is not thrilling or exciting enough to capture audiences' attention. Providers of these actuality shows, create a much better viewing pleasure by using sophisticated software to enhance the visual aftereffect of these simple shows. Thus, a virtual the truth is created by them. "Similarly, digital truth simply provides truth deprived of its compound, with no 'hard, repellent kernel' of the real" (Ruler, G 2005). There are also times where in fact the scenes the truth is shows are not accurate. Enough time and place explained in these shows does not coherent with its actuality. Sometimes two different displays from two different places are combined together to include the dramatic impact. More often than not, audiences wouldn't normally know the truth behind these moments. For instance, in the truth series called 'Joe Millionaire', a great deal of editing was done and even the individuals did not find out about the editing until they themselves watch the show. A make-out landscape in the woods was edited using sound effects from another field on that show as explained by Paul the truth is Reel Media. Another example sometimes appears in Survivor where body doubles were found in certain images. 'Gervase (a solid of Survivor) admitted that he performed spend time throughout the day doing nothing but was blown out of percentage on the show', (Paul 2004). To conclude, audiences are not watching possible show but a movie that disguises itself as possible television show.

2. 2 Scripted to be dramatic

Survivor, Real World, the Bachelor and other reality shows are all scripted shows. A scripted show cannot be real as the occurrences and drama in the show are written out and are acted by members. These scripts are ready to add twist and converts in possible series. Dramas in true to life are too bland and are not enough to obtain the attention of visitors who are always occupied in the current fast pacing world. Episode is added by asking participants of the show to do something out a certain way. If the scripts keep these things cry, they weep. Once the scripts ask them to enter trouble with the other members, they enter trouble. The participants do not argue with the scripts because they do not desire to be discredited from the show. For instance, as stated by Paul, Brian Dunkleman from American Idol 1 refused to exaggerate the problem with Simon as directed by the directors of that show. Thus, he was left out of American idol 2. Some certainty shows even have scripts that determined the victor of the show even before it airs. Viewers think that they might be a part of selecting the victor but in truth they don't. Within the last bout of Joe Schmo, Hutch the jerk was scripted to succeed, (Huff 2006). Several actuality shows have real individuals without scripts however the show is then manipulated by the host who practices a script. Killborn believed that one of the responsibilities of the number is to include the dramatic selling point of the show by playing off members against each other. In conclusion, scripted truth shows are not real and do not give justice to the term 'actuality' the truth is television.

Emotions and skills portrayed are real

In shows like American Idol, the emotions of individuals are real and so are the abilities. Each season, thousands of people from around America audition by performing their hearts out in front of judges and the camera to get the chance to be another American Idol. Their voices are real rather than edited at all. They are also judged upon by professional judges who know about the music industry. The emotions that overcome them as they get the 'golden ticket' to Hollywood are invaluable. Some is seen crying as they emerge from the audition room and some is seen leaping with enjoyment as they wave the solution in the air and hug themselves. None of these can be imitated in in any case.

However, not absolutely all shows are like American Idol. Shows like the Bachelor and Beauty and the Geek does not portray real emotions and talents. These shows use carefully hand-picked participants. They want participants who condition their abilities and change their own feelings for the sake of the show. For example, if the show wanted a participant to be proficient at skating, they'll just ask the participant to apply skating a couple of days before taking pictures the scene. Companies of the shows want participants who look common but in a position to perform any process directed at them without hesitation. Most of these participants don't have any talents. They are forced to build up certain talents simply for certain scenes. Thus, these skills are not real.

'What they are seeking is an capability to task an aura of real-life ordinariness coupled with an ability to perform a series of duties with some way of measuring aplomb', (Killborn 2003).

In conclusion, thoughts and talents are occasionally real in reality shows but most certainty shows fake the emotions and talents to conserve time, money and increase its ratings.

3. 0 The unwanted effects on participants

'Speaking at the Guardian Edinburgh Television Festival, Dr James said he feared that individuals could actually be "damaged" by firmly taking part in programs like YOUR GOVERNMENT and Enticement Island. '

(BBC NEWS, 2001)

The ethics of certainty television also includes the well-being of its participants. Participants are the 'celebrities' of a reality show. Thus, they are really an essential part to any actuality show. A members' responsibility is to draw in audiences to watch their show, thus enabling them to gain fame and bundle of money. However, participants are just treated like money-making puppets by producers. This greatly impacts the members in a poor way. Most members in nowadays fact tv set are psychologically and bodily tortured. Besides that, their personalities are portrayed wrongly by the advertising. Therefore, it is quite certain that the ethics of simple fact television shows based on the eye of members are indeed doubtful.

3. 1 Psychological damage

On February 17, 2005, Najai, a contestant of 'The Contender' committed suicide when confronted with beat as reported on PRWeb. The very thought of getting rid of and being humiliated before thousands of people, drives participants of fact shows to a psychological breakdown. These individuals strive for fame and bundle of money but what they don't realize is that on a reality show, the price of fame and bundle of money is their satisfaction and humility. After all, one of why people watch certainty shows is to see these participants humiliate themselves before thousands of people.

Besides that, individuals also lose hope and trust in their life after being on a reality show. For instance, a contestant on North american Idol lost all beliefs in life when he did not receive any positive reviews in the end his hardwork in bettering himself on the show as stated in PRWeb. How many people must lose trust and desire in life before companies of the shows realize the effect their fact shows have on its participants? Chances are that manufacturers of certainty shows wouldn't normally look after their participants now or in the future. To them, it is focused on the money these fact shows rake in.

'Something like this is done for no other reason than to embarrass people or humiliate them or scare them. The providers don't value human feelings. They don't really value being respectable. They only value money. ' (About. com, nd)

3. 2 Fake Profiles of Participants

Do you understand that almost all participants of actuality shows like 'Survivor' and 'Big Sibling' won't be the same in true to life because they are seen on tv set? They can be portrayed wrongfully on television set in order to fit the script created by the show. About. com explained that Manigault-Stallworth, a contestant on 'The Apprentice' became "the most hated female on television set" as a result of way she behaved or shown to behave on that show. They did not film her when she was smiling or when she was doing something positive, they only captured her bad area and even edited the footage to make her seem to be like an bad and cruel figure that people love to hate.

The television set world is littered with individuals who have appeared on truth shows and then complained later that the way they were offered in no way demonstrates them in true to life, (Huff, R. M 2006). Participants of truth shows have to live a life with these so called 'individuals' that they were labeled by the show in their everyday living. Unlike actors, once a participant is shown in ways, they can never change it. Contemporary society sees them as the personas they were on television. This effects individuals negatively especially in their occupations. Most participants cannot get an effective job after showing up on possible show for their fake profiles which were created on the show. Relatives and buddies are stunned as well when they witness themselves behaving in different ways on the show compared to true to life. Some families are remaining in shame by the culture when one of these members of the family is portrayed adversely over a show. Therefore, it is undeniable that simple fact shows affects members negatively and therefore goes against its ethics.

Instant Fame and Fortune

There's only 1 thing that participants look forward to in any actuality show and that is fame, accompanied by fortune. Individuals get instant popularity as soon as they seem on possible show. Shows like 'American Idol' and 'So you think you can party?' give common people from everyday routine at least 15minutes of fame during their auditions. This popularity, even though small, can provide participants great deal of satisfaction. Not just that, fact shows also gives participants individual empowerment. They feel more alive after participating on a reality show particularly if these were the winners of the show because of all publicity they obtain from it.

However, popularity and fortune is wii thing for a few individuals. Some gain bad fame but no bundle of money what-so-ever off their contribution. Their reputations are tarnished as a result of strive that they had to win the amount of money. It is true that money drives visitors to do great things but money also drives people to do stupid and god forsaken stunts. People will cry, fight, harm themselves and even remove naked before a camera if it'll provide them with a chance of winning the money. Thus, when the show ends, all that is kept with the losing individuals are bad popularity no money. Karim assumed that why participants are enthusiastic about being on a show will be the fame, the lot of money and the climb in their public status but they don't realize the negative effects of this obsession. This obsession may bring out the most severe of folks and that's exactly what the companies want when choosing their individuals.

Therefore, certainty shows may bring fame and bundle of money to participants, but they also affect individuals negatively and could mess up their life in population.

4. 0 Negative effect on audiences

Reality television is becoming so popular that almost 50 % of the world's society spends their free time watching it. Actuality television shows keeps no get older boundary and thus folks of all years and social position are obsess with these shows especially those that are abundant and young. The graphs below show the relationship between ages, cultural position and education with the frequency of simple fact show browsing:

(Adapted: Soong, R 2003)

(Adapted: Soong, R 2003)

However, many of these audiences don't realize the effects that reality tv shows have about them, most of that happen to be negative. People get too fastened with these reality shows and find it hard to differentiate what is right and incorrect when enjoying these shows. Therefore, the ethics of certainty tv set are questioned when they affect its audience adversely.

4. 1 Moral ideals are neglected

Why do we take the time to learn and instruct moral if it is all trashed of the windowpane in the making of simple fact shows? Simple fact shows promotes negative principles such as cheating, stealing and lying in order to be rewarded with money, (G Strap New Media Class 2003). Virtually all reality shows induces these bad action, from 'Survivor' to 'Real World'. This is because members show there true human being mother nature when money is waved before them. However, if everyone who watches these shows upholds these negative beliefs, what would the world come to? People will get into fights, call out titles, sneak behind one's back and the world will be filled up with heartless people climbing up their communal ladders. Moral principles and trust will be a thing of the past.

Rationalization, an important moral value is also emptied out from children's head due to reality television. Civitillo mentioned that actuality shows presents danger to culture as children who see stunts done by members does not realize that it is staged and done under the watchful eyeball of professional stunt coordinators. Children think that because the stunts are done by common people, they could perform it as well. For example, in MTV's 'Jackass', the type Johnny Knoxville perform an agonizing stunt of being a real human barbeque and this stunt was imitated by children all over the world after the show aired despite the show showing "Usually do not try out this at home" before every stunt, (Civitillo, V 2001). However, the companies of this show do not need to acknowledge the bond between their show and the number of children casualties throughout the world. Thus, the ethics of certainty tv set are questioned when they put their followers' lives on the line.

4. 2 Psychological attachment

G group new media school stated that people sometimes hate watching actuality shows because they do not want to finish up believing they are involved with the participants of the show. They fear so much being emotionally mounted on the participants. It is hard never to form bonds with the members even though these are half way across the world. The moment you start rooting for a specific participant to gain on a show, you already are forming a connection with see your face. You get sad when they lose and fired up when they win obstacles on the show. That is common for people to experience. However, the ethics of reality tv set are crossed when people fall into deep emotional connection with these individuals. That is when audiences enter fights with each other over the outcome of the show. They believe they may be defending their good friend rather than just a contestant of a reality show.

Producers of reality shows have a tendency to dramatize their show by uncovering secrets and interior thoughts of members. They expose the personalities and character types of the members much that the followers believe they know the members since childhood, as though they were their finest friends. Thus, they form strong associations with these individuals. A relationship like this could psychologically harm an audience in particular when they recognize that the participant they like is not who they think he or she was. Therefore, this negatively impacts the people.

New skills and Knowledge

Reality shows provide followers with an array of general knowledge that can help them in their everyday life. Shows like 'Survivor' instruct audiences how to make it through in an upsetting situation. Viewers learn what are poisonous in the jungle and which kind of food you may survive on if you are ever before stranded in a jungle. Besides that, audiences also learn new skills when they watch fact shows. 'American idol' has encourage its visitors especially young adults to learn singing. Children and young adults start to pay more attention in their performing arts after viewing truth shows like 'So you think you can dance'.

On the other hand, certainty shows have diverted viewer's attention from global issues. Folks are more centered on watching fact shows rather than relating to themselves with the problems in their life. Truth It stated that folks spend their time committed to watching fact shows but do not care about the issues in the United States and around the world. Viewers also use fact television as an escape from the realities with their lives, (Killborn 2003). Issues of every day life are neglected but fraudulent issues are what concern the audiences nowadays.

Therefore, reality television does affect people adversely. Thus, it holds true to say that the ethics of fact television are questionable.


We watch truth shows almost everyday inside our life. We love seeing it as it is entertaining and a terrific way to move our time. Suppliers make these fact shows and folks watch it. It is a simple relationship. Then, why are the ethics of the reality tv set shows continue being questionable?

The ethics of actuality shows was once on its right way. However, the new age specifically age the materialistic world, has made the ethics to take a turn to an incorrect avenue. The ethics have diverted up to now from its rightful route that the authenticity of truth shows fades away, not forgetting the effects it has on its participants and audience.

As Thomas Jefferson once said "Money, not morality, is the rule business of civilized nation. ", (BrainyQuote). The trust that folks have on reality television should not be exploited for the money. Producers of these shows should protect the trust of these audience rather than their standard bank accounts. Do you want to live in a global that is to us through our television? Or do we want to live in a global where reality tv set shows can be respected to portray the reality of life without impacting anyone negatively?


Reality television is becoming increasingly more popular nowadays. However, the popular a reality show gets, the more the world questions its ethics. Thus, further work needs to be done to protect the ethics of fact television in order to silence the questions posed by the society. The following tips have been designed to solve the issues of reality tv shows ethics predicated on the data shown throughout america of America and Great Britain, Europe.

One of the ethics of actuality television that is questioned by the contemporary society is its authenticity. People despise being deceived by reality shows that undergo a lot of editing and enhancing and are occasionally scripted. Therefore, this statement recommends further work to:

Preserve the authenticity of certainty shows by creating shows that is more believable and closer to reality.

Avoid the use of technology to alter or enhance possible show. Thus, making these shows more like real life where editing and enhancing and enhancement aren't possible.

Portray the spontaneity of reality. Scripted reality shows are similar to the films. People want to see genuine reactions to true to life situations where nothing is predictable and so bringing the aspect of wonder to the audience.

Another problem people face when working with reality television is its effects on its participants. Members who volunteer themselves for these shows should be cared for fairly and not exploited for the shows benefits. Thus, further work is preferred to:

Care for medical and welfare of these who participate. Members are people too and therefore producers of fact television should look after members' physical and mental health throughout creation.

Maintain humanity when creating a reality show. Individuals are to portray their true selves in possible show. Their personalities are not supposed to be mirrored wrongly by these truth shows.

Produce certainty shows in the interest of the members and not to improve ratings. Participants' views and viewpoints as well as their comments should be studied into consideration by maker when producing a simple fact show.

Reality shows also violate their ethics when they affect their audiences negatively. Followers' morality shouldn't be trashed of the screen when watching certainty shows, nor should their thirst for knowledge. Hence, additional work is preferred to:

Impose proper beliefs and actions the truth is shows like kindness, devotion and determination in winning a casino game. Children tend to take the appearance 'monkey see, monkey do' literally and so stunts, evil activities and bad dialects should not be revealed the truth is shows.

Minimize the vulnerability of personal thoughts and lives of members to viewers to all the audiences from being too attached to the individuals.

Reduce the amount of reality shows slated in a day so that audiences will not be stuck watching simple fact shows only but use their free time to take action beneficial like reading and training.

In addition, further research must be done to resolve the honest problems of actuality television set shows.

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