Media Perception And The Hunger Games How Reality Television Skews Our Perception

1598 words - 7 pages

People have long been fascinated by celebrities. We crave to see individuals rise from humble beginnings to public notoriety. We see something within ourselves and latch our dreams onto these larger than life figures and propel them into international icons. We see them as brave, honest, intelligent, caring or just downright sexy.

Fame at one point was only reserved for Hollywood actors. Lines such as “Im ready for my close up” from Sunset Boulevard defined the golden age of illusion and fantasy. However with the advent of reality television, suddenly everyone can be a celebrity with a platform. Shows such as Temptation Island and Big Brother brought together a competitive personality driven show with racy storylines. The genre then evolved to shows such as “The Hills” “The Real Housewives” franchise and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. These shows all gave rise to the term Reality Star and in the case of Kim Kardashian, with her vast social and mainstream media popularity, also created a perfume, cosmetic and clothing empire. (Shrhak)
Today, there are numerous reality stars that come from the sports, entertainment and political world and the format is a staple of television programing. Though reality TV seems like a fairly new concept, reality shows were first introduced in 1948 when Allen Funt then debuted “Candid Camera.” A hidden camera show that saw people be the centre of gags, often at their expense and in 1973 a documentary series called “An American Family” which gave birth to one of the earliest examples of personality driven TV. (Siocum)

Because of the term “reality,” reality television has begun diluting peoples perceptions of what is real and truthful. “Frankenbiting” as its dubbed is a technique in which producers would fabricate responses to situations by splicing and editing responses asked at a previous time. (Poniewozik,McDowell) This is done to create a reaction and outcome, popular with the audience so that shows stay the course of what the audience and the producers demand.
The extent of media delusion and popularity has in recent times become so high, a CBS Evening News report highlighted how “More people watched American Idol on FOX than saw President Bush’s State of the Union speech on ABC, NBC and CBS combined” (Pozner, Jennifer 18)

By citing reality television as a true depiction of mass culture, we do more harm by perpetually promoting unattainable standards and creating a society based on mass expression. This in turn, influences entertainment and culture rather than promotes individual expression and truthful storytelling. “Suzanne Collins and her novel The Hunger Games addresses some of the fallacies of media and how media is used to spin a message that glorifies the individual in the centre of the spotlight, and invents a fantasy storyline that the audience craves to hear, regardless if the storyline is 100% truth.

The Hunger Games is a competition in which 2 people, a boy and a girl from 12...

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