I want to start off by initiating a discussion about Journalism as a division within the media landscape, how it can be defined and how far this meaning can be extended within the realm of what is considered to be true journalism.
Journalism in the broader cultural mediascape touches on this, observing that ‘journalism has become part of a holistic mix of media elements that intentionally or unintentionally provide people with varied glimpses of the world around them’ (Berkowitz, 2009). I wanted to discuss this theory in relation to an aspect of popular culture I know very well, and which I see fitting to this topic- Reality Television.
Big Brother Australia, The Australian Celebrity Apprentice, Australia’s Next Top Model and new series The Face Australia are all reality programs that can be discussed in relation to this topic, holding in common that they all link on ‘providing people with glimpses of the world around them’ based on four boundaries of social and political processes-being Debate, Voting, Competition and Relationships.
You may have noticed that each of these programs are competition based in one way or another. With any competition comes opportunity for debate and the process of voting, not unlike that of an election. Strong links can be drawn between the two, observing the way the public becomes involved with the system- determining the final result. The way in which conversation sparks into debate on various social media platforms, with viewers sharing their views and opinions on certain topics relating to an election or to the reality series, also sheds light on how these two can be studied in relation to one another.
Relationships are always a significant theme within these programs, particularly in the context of Big Brother, when the viewer watches the ways in which relationships develop and unfold with various personalities in the house.
This links back to the Berkowitz quote, with such programs exposing various political and social elements that are in fact relevant within the real world- articulating the way in which humans interact within various social and political contexts, how these processes unfold and how they influence public opinion.
Grief, 2005, ‘The Reality of Reality Television’, N+1 Magazine, 16 September
Ouellette, 2010, Reality Television, Oxford Bibliographies, viewed 28/3/2014, URL: http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199756841/obo-9780199756841-0057.xml
McGuigan, Jim, 2005, The cultural public sphere, Cultural Studies, 8:4, pp. 427–443
Tenenboim-Weinblatt, K. 2009, ‘“Where Is Jack Bauer When You Need Him?” The Uses of Television Drama in Mediated Political Discourse’, Political Communication, vol. 26, pp. 367-87.
Berkowitz, Dan, 2009, “Journalism in the broader cultural Mediascape,” Journalism, Vol. 10(3): 290–292