ATS 2439 Youth Media
This essay will address the reasons behind why global entertainment shows targeted at young audiences are significant on a political level and illustrates that why do these reality TV shows attract such a wide range of audiences, particularly aimed at young people. And the case study of Zhejiang Television’s 2012 reality talent show The Voice of China will be introduced to analyse how the ‘entertainment’ factor has been infused into the political process. The interactions of the Chinese youth towards the specific show and media as a whole will be explored. Furthermore, discussing how ordinary young people interact with reality media will reveal the dynamics of this relationship between global popular culture and politics. “Reality shows differ from classical documentaries in regard to their main intention: instead of stressing journalistic inquiry or intending to stimulate political debates, they are primarily made for entertainment and diversion.” (Beck, Hellmueller & Aeschbacher 2012) Along with the development of reality TV shows, media organisations such as some local television stations, they became interested in reality TV to attract a wide range of viewers instead of suit their mandate and quality standards. Hunan Satellite Television (HSTV) has got a great success in talent show Super Girls while Yong Zhong (2007) stated in his article, these commercial activities caused fears amongst the “ailing empire”. Yong (2007) explains that HSTV’s alternative content and its aims to attract large audiences were primarily fuelled by the pressures of commercialisation to survive in the media industry. He points out that the “course of commercialisation will eventually clash with the existing political use of media as the government mouthpiece” (Yong 2007) Underlying this decision is the existence of complex negotiations between media industries, businesses and the government which are demanded by global popular culture. “Super Girl were enthusiastically received by young Chinese audience, they also triggered a set of longstanding fears about the power of Western media content to undermine national identities in other parts of the world.” (Ruddock 2013) Because of the high amount of population and the growing needs for entertainment, China becomes to a large television market for media industries to develop more TV shows. “The media and entertainment business is facing new opportunities and challenges, as it markets its products and services to the 1.3 billion people that make up the most populated country in the world” (Ernst& Young 2012) During the time of economic growth in China, civilization demand steadily rise up in recent years (Liu, 2009) Increasingly co-produced reality shows that air in China for example American Idol, in China it called Chinese Idol. Although such reality shows have large and diverse audiences in original countries, their air mode, production format and audience market are totally different in China. According to Waisbord (2004) “the commercialisation and homogenisation of media systems served as the bases for successful exports and imports of formats across the globe.” Such as Idol is "more than just another trend in an industry perennially hungry for hit shows and eager to follow them" (Waisbord 2004). It is a trend geared by the globalization of the business model of television. However, some of Chinese scholars argue that reality talent shows can be seen as part of a series of measures to tighten up control of the media before the Communist Party’s Congress (McCabe 2007). Dreyer (2009) suggests that “casual viewers likely do not often make connections between the politics of reality television and the politics of national state, and local government.” China’s open reforms have led to alternating media ideologies and practices, with a shift in treating the receivers of media content as “masses” to the imported concept of “audience”. (Zhang 2000...
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