Saturday, 18 June 2011

Reality of reality shows

Television is the most popular, powerful and effective invention of science. It has got a huge number of users across the whole world. As the TV started to gain popularity many private channels were launched.  Television media field turned into media industry. 
At the beginning stages, the intention of TV channels was to give the information and news. Later on entertainment programs were introduced, channels started to telecast advertisements, public welfare programs and many more. At first there was a prescribed script in each program and all the programs are handled by trained professionals. But in 1980’s a new experiment is made in the telecasting programs in England. A private TV channels started to telecast a series of program named ‘cops’ which was a real video record of working of policemen in the cities. This particular show gained very much popularity and is named as reality show. Therefore the reality shows were launched in 1980’s.  There after many reality shows have been started where there is no professional actors or it involved common people without any training and made them to perform some task naturally as in the day to day life and this has been recorded and telecasted.
        The contents and overall structure of reality shows is being changed day by day. There is a competition between channels in giving different and unique kind of reality shows. Reality shows are the platforms for many people to show their talents and abilities. Here I classify the reality shows into entertainment oriented reality shows and adventurous reality shows in order to present my thoughts.  Adventurous/dangerous shows means reality shows which involve some persons and give them challenging and dangerous tasks to complete and which judge one’s attitude, capacity, ability, bravery etc. These shows are performed under controlled conditions and they are prepared for emergency situations. These types of shows result in the fear, anxiety, unpleasant emotions in the viewers. Watching these types of shows is harmful for children, pregnant women, old, bed ridden and persons who have heart related problems.  Although these instructions are given as disclaimer, there is no guarantee that each viewer read this notice; especially the children.  In many cases children watch TV without parent guidance.  It affects the mind, emotions and behavior of the children positively as well as negatively. They try to follow what they had seen on TV screen.  It results negatively in the society. It may harm the life of a child also.
        Entertainment oriented reality shows are related with cultural events like singing, dancing, acting etc. These reality shows mainly focus on children. These shows include preliminary auditions and then recording and telecasting. There will be judges who are called as specialists in that particular field to judge the capacity, ability and talents of small enthusiastic children.  Few children are selected for further series of the show and they will be trained by professionals and are accompanied by class orchestra group and of course they get a very good exposure. But what about the children who could not take part in these type of shows although they have talent? What about the large number of children who were not been selected? What about children who have been eliminated after few rounds?  There will be force of parents to participate in these shows. Each and every parent thinks that his/her child should win. It gives rise to competitions between children. Children undergo stress and a fear of failure. Majority of shows focus and exaggerate the failure of the participants and the so called judges humiliate the participants for their silly mistakes. It creates the negative impression of oneself in these participants and the effect is more on children than matured participants. Those children automatically lack in their activity and become dull or less active and moody. They reserve themselves and do not want to indentify in society. It means the overall development of the child is affected.
        All these things should be known by every parent. Parents should be careful before providing TV for their children. They should keep an eye on the activities of their child and guide and inform about the right and wrongs.  And before sending or forcing their children to participate in the reality shows they should be ready to face failure and to convince their children about the failure.  TV channels also should be very careful while producing reality shows. As there is no guarantee that disclaimer is read and followed by every viewer, they have to sensor their acts. There should be limited exaggeration. In entertainment reality shows they should instruct the judges to act in certain way which does not hurt the feelings of participant. There should be any partiality in the selection. Channels should have certain policies in telecasting the programs. All the channels should maintain a minimum standard in their programs and shows. They should work in educating, informing and mainly in maintaining the peace and good condition of the society. Media should not take advantage of people’s innocence, feelings and emotions to attract the people, but should try to develop good feelings, emotions and motive the people to work together for the development of the nation.