Teaching Media Literacy through: Reality TV Cover

Teaching Media Literacy through: Reality TV

With Teaching Media Literacy through Contemporary Issues explores all that is Reality TV. Students will learn about how reality tv fits into the media landscape, as well as the techniques used to capture and maintain viewers' interest - from developing an initial idea, casting, producing and editing. The ultimate aim of this resource is to give students the tools to recognise the techniques that reality tv producers use and why they use them. Having worked through the sections, students will have an opportunity to develop a reality show of their own.

Ages: 13-15 | Pages: 64 | Code: 51118 | ISBN: 9781776556359

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Dale Sutherland

Dale Sutherland has been a media studies and English teacher. She has a background in film and media, along with a passion for contemporary issues facing young people today. Now living in New Zealand’s Far North, she researches and writes full time.


Section 1: What is reality TV?5
Section 2: Types of reality6
Common types of reality TV series6
Examples of reality TV series11
Teacher resource: Online examples16
Section 3: Development of the genre18
The earliest days of reality18
Cinema vérité and direct cinema20
Reality TV as we know it21
Section 4: Casting and characters23
Personality for reality23
Finding characters25
Teacher resource: Putting it into practice29
Section 5: Editing for effect35
Editing techniques35
Teacher resource: An editing example39
Keeping viewers engaged41
Section 6: Narrative structure42
Overall structure of a series42
Within an episode: the three-act structure43
Similarities in structure for competition reality TV45
Section 7: Product placement50
A highly profitable business50
Embedded marketing50
Teacher resource: Guide to activities51
Section 8: Making reality53
Developing an idea or concept55
Teacher resource: Guide to pitching and discussion activities56
Further reading63