REALITY SHOWS – ABSURDITY OF THE MEDIA FREEDOM OR EXPRESSION OF THE MEDIA MARKET
Text topic: Reality Programmes in Serbia – A GLOBAL OR NATIONAL PHENOMENON
Text author: Милан Ђорђевић
Due to great success they have achieved, reality TV programmes have been subject of public debates in Serbia, regarding their social, cultural and political implications for the society. For the first time, psychological crises, violence, pornography, examples of fleeting fame and failure can be seen on live television, as experiences associated with real, human stories. Although a significant part of the public criticizes such content for being marketed in the media space, the subject of these discussions is not only aesthetical but also political, because the decision-makers have different views on the issue of ethical responsibility. Caused by the lack of political will and by the hindered ability to control the content that is publicly aired, the basic dilemma refers to the extent to which such content reflects the idea of media freedoms, i.e. to which extent they cross the ethical, aesthetical and legal-regulatory boundaries. The paper argues that the phenomenon of reality programmes in Serbia should not be viewed outside the economic framework in which they were created and in which they are being developed. Thus, it is argued that the genre of programming is part of a broader tendency to transform the media space into a field of entertainment, which facilitates the commodification of the entire sphere of the media.Through a historical-comparative analysis of the development of reality programmes in Serbia, a critical analysis is given of their content and standards governing the media space, the problem of the ethics of the economic model in relation to which this media format is organized. Furthermore, the paper examines the specifics of reality programmes produced and broadcast in the Serbian media space, considering that the basic ethical task of the media is to recognize and present reality in a socially responsible manner, respecting human dignity and human rights. The content and form of the aforementioned reality series are linked to specific financing models, public-private relations and working conditions in Serbia. Understanding the correlation of these elements with the neoliberal approach in shaping the socio-economic environment, is the fundamental objective of this paper.