The Dark Side of "Reality TV": Questions of Ethics in "Popular Factual Entertainment"

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperResearch


The aim of this paper is to shed light on the dark side of 'reality TV' by undertaking a more comprehensive analysis of the most salient moral issues that continue to emerge from the production of this kind of popular factual programming. Importantly, we do so by integrating conceptual elaborations with empirically grounded findings which responds to both rather undifferentiating, generalizing positions in the ethical debate and the still under-examined production contexts. First, we outline and schematize some useful preliminary distinctions between image internal and external contexts, different stages of the production process, the multiple stakeholders involved, the nature of the representation and the basic duality of content and form. Next, we distinguish between the three main and broad issues of intrusion, humiliation and misrepresentation, as well as their manifold incarnations and nuances.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown
PublisherAll Academic
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2012
EventEtmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2013 - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 24 May 2012 → …


ConferenceEtmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2013
Period24/05/12 → …


  • reality TV
  • entertainment
  • media ethics
  • qualitative interviews


Dive into the research topics of 'The Dark Side of "Reality TV": Questions of Ethics in "Popular Factual Entertainment"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this