By J. Bignell
Jonathan Bignell offers a wide-ranging research of the tv phenomenon of the early twenty-first century: truth television. He explores its cultural and political meanings, explains the genesis of the shape and its dating to modern tv construction, and considers the way it connects with, and breaks clear of, genuine and fictional conventions in tv.
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Additional resources for Big Brother: Reality TV in the Twenty-First Century
Because of African nations’ underfunded domestic production base, programming has consisted largely of imported Western and mainly American content, and the African housemates of Big Brother Africa combine with a known international format to bring these domestic and globalized forces together. Big Brother Africa in 2003 was the first pan-continental version, following two earlier series that contained only South African contestants and where the winners of each series were white men. Big Brother Africa in 2003 included contestants The World is Watching 37 from Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Periodically during the run of the series trials and challenges are set for the contestants, who are rewarded or penalized accordingly. Continuous 24-hour observation of the contestants is undertaken, and episodes consist of edited selections from that material. The programme is shot in a restricted location that the contestants are unable to leave and into which outsiders cannot penetrate. The series are time limited, and the aim of the contestants is to win by surviving the complete run of the series.
Not only do regional media flows run across global ones, but they also provide the basis for a reversal of media flows from Latin America to Europe, where the export of telenovelas among Latin American cultures and to Europe is a wellknown example. Institutionally, the synergy between the separated realms of hardware manufacturing, content providers and transmission or broadcasting corporations appears to provide market dominance to a few major companies, mainly American and Japanese (like Time-Warner or Sony), so that the assumption that globalization is the same as Americanization has been modified to stress the power of corporate, rather than national, control over media.
Big Brother: Reality TV in the Twenty-First Century by J. Bignell