Reality Shows

Topics: Television program, People's Republic of China, Reality television Pages: 11 (4527 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Reality Shows In china: A Road to a More Democratic China or Not? In 2005 up to 400 million viewers, nearly a third of the population of China sat to watch the grand finale of The Chinese version of American Idol Supergirl Idol. The winner Li Yuchan was chosen via text messages receiving 3.5 million votes. Apart from voting through new age technology ,the 2005 finale also was covered by over 100 newspapers with series of articles and the website alone received 2.4 million comments on the final night. This was seen as a ground breaking moment in both the economic and cultural sectors of Chinese society. Reality TV can be defined as shows that film and follow ordinary people in artificial situations. They could either be at work or in a competition show. Reality shows only came to China in recent years but have since made its impact. With TV programs such as Super Girl and Boy, Dreams in China, Blind Dating shows, each one has attracted thousands of people to participate. Reality shows in China have generated a lot of revenue for not only companies but for the state. Reality TV is one of the fastest growing sectors. For instance the Shanghai-based Dragon TV's reality-style programmes, is said to have a combined value of about $500million. These programmes had generated a further $1bn for other businesses in Shanghai, in a chain of value-adding that extended from the producer to advertising agents, telecom operators, mobile phone message service providers, entertainment industry design companies and broadband websites. Supergirl Idol, which originated on a Hunan satellite channel, was so successful both commercially and economically that TV stations across China have since produced more than 500 reality shows, ranging from music to martial arts. By one count there were of 50 of them on satellite television at one time and dozens more on regular television. Through communication technology, the Internet in particular has given a useful hand in developing youth’s democratic engagements and public participations. Through thousands of blogs, forums, and chat-rooms, the Internet serves as a channel providing information and a public sphere for individuals not only listening to societal dialogue but also expressing opinions, sharing social empathy. This means that reality shows did not need to rely on the government’s subsidy to bring enjoyment and happiness to the people. Eliminating the role of the Chinese media as the mouthpiece of the state. Apart from the financial and social impact of the Reality Shows, some saw this new media craze as a new road to democracy. They felt that they were able to express themselves and display whatever talent they possessed. It enabled them to build their self confidence and achieve their dreams. It can be suggested that another reason for the success of reality shows in China was due to the initial minimum involvement government. Reality shows were not a propaganda tool but instead showed you the modern average Chinese in their dormant setting. It showed a side that the viewers were able to relate to, the judges were able give real comments and criticism without any repercussions they could also argue among themselves, and the people were allowed to vote through the westernised system with mobile phones. This definitely marked a hallmark in Chinese culture. Traditional Chinese values normally emphasize on collectivism, but this reality talent television show gave every single individual a chance to realize their own worth and to realize their desire for social recognition. Despite the success of reality shows and its popularity among many it did not take long before things started to go wrong. In August 2007 the ever popular Supergirl Idol, which originated on a Hunan satellite channel, was so successful that the Chinese government labelled the show “coarse” and shut it down. The crackdown came about as the government’s campaign against the declining quality of television programming....
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