What Type of Reality TV Shows Have an Upper Hand

If a line says anything about the face of reality TV, you will find none better than the words of Mark Burnett which says; “There’s nothing like biting off more than you can chew, and then chewing anyway.” He is a pioneer in reality TV; if the type of success attained by the shows he has made are anything to go by!

After watching all your favorite reality shows one after the other, you might just ask what type gets the upper hand. From The Apprentice to the Masterchef series, Extreme Makeover to The Biggest Loser, each comes with its own portrayal of man’s behavior. Inspired or determined, passive-aggressive or just plain bitchy, all the contestants go through whatever torture devices that the show producers can come up with. And we get to see it all, from the comfort of our sofas and behind our TV dinners! If you look at it with optimism, watching TV has never been better!

The Best in Reality TV

Let’s take a look at the biggest grossing reality TV shows over the past decade and review the changing trends that took place.

Competitions
Whatever the challenge may be, whatever obstacles may stand in one’s way, the sense of achievement after you win each round is exhilarating. Viewers love to watch people battle each other to gain the coveted final prize. Whether it’s a cooking contest like Hell’s Kitchen or an endurance competition like The Amazing Race, a viewer will generally pick his/her favorite and root for them till the end. It’s the positive result after an episode filled with trials and tribulations that keeps the viewer hooked. Survivor: Borneo picked up a record 18 million viewers on its second week on air. Shows like The Bachelor and Temptation Island present an alternate reality fueled by wealth and looks, while shows like The Biggest Loser aim for the compassion of the crowd, as the contestants lose weight and pour their hearts out on TV.

Reality Shows on Music and Dance
Shows like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance amass a large portion of TV ratings. They are, in essence, one of the best chances for aspiring artists to get to the top, which is what makes these shows so loved. Shows like these usually start off on rating lower than they started on, as more and more viewers gather to see who wins the show towards the end. They also use a public voting system to increase viewer interactions and keep them at watching the show.

Science-based Reality
Face it. No matter how simple some things can be, lab coats, safety glasses and special cameras can make them look spectacular! Time Warp is such a show that uses high quality equipment to capture things in super slow motion. Mythbusters follows tales, both old and new, and establish them as true, false or plausible.

Cooking Shows
This is a segment dominated by TV shows like Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and Nigella’s Kitchen. What mostly keeps the viewers latched is the preparation and presentation of the food. As obviously the viewer can’t taste it, care is taken to ensure the best presentation pattern of food. It also revolves around global cuisines that most viewers may not actually get to taste, but generate an interest and liking for.

Celebrity Lives
Everyone wants a look into the personal lives of their favorite celebrities. For Paris Hilton, The Simple Life generated quite the ratings at first. So did The Flavor of Love, where they tried to find a suitable match for Flavor Flav. You also got to see the celebrities in shows that capitalize on them, terming their show as ‘the celebrity version’, where average Joes are replaced by well-known faces.

Uncommon/Popular Social Lives
This type of show uses a rather unconventional method (when it can find one) and gives the viewer a glimpse of people or families that are out of the ordinary. The prime example of this was the once successful (later became disastrous and eventually shut down) John and Kate Plus 8, the couple with twins and a sextuplet. You got to see how they tried to manage regular life while trying to feed 8 kids. Another example would be Jersey Shore, which involves the social lives of 8 people in Jersey.

The Shows With the Edge

Taking all these shows into consideration, what would you think, is the biggest selling point of reality TV shows today? The answer – they play on human emotions; namely, the feeling of success and the consequences of rage.

Positive Emotions
Compassion and determination are the best ways to dominate ratings. Shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition keep you glued to the TV by trying to gain sympathy towards the participants. The human ability to focus and surmount against the odds is also a popular feeling for getting ratings. The key to these positive emotions is that, to portray their significance, there needs to be a copious amount of negativity, like what the participants have already been through till now or what they are going to go through ahead.

Negative Emotions
Fighting, revenge, stereotypical jokes and foul mouthing seem to gather audiences as well. They may end up being the type of shows that you ‘love to hate’. Jersey Shore is one example. Hell’s Kitchen incorporates Gordon Ramsay’s ever-increasing anger against the contestants. The Apprentice shows the dog-eat-dog ways of the corporate world.

Love them or hate them, reality shows have been around for the past decade and will still continue to exist. Whether the shows are ethical or not, can be held up for debate, but it won’t change the ratings by much. The main reason as to why someone will watch a reality show is the attraction to the morality and status of the contestants and the ability to fantasize themselves in the contestant’s shoes. Reality shows are a way for the common man to believe that there can actually be a way to become famous one day. The show that can do all of this, gains the ultimate upper hand.

What are the Qualities Required to Become a Good Journalist

Like any other profession, journalism too requires certain types of people, not everyone can become a good journalist. There are certain qualities that a person must possess in order to become a good journalist. Some qualities can be worked on, but mostly a certain personality would be more suitable for the high pressure job of a journalist. I have seen a lot of different people in this field, some live up to the image of the conventional journalist that we have in mind, while others are a stark contrast, nevertheless, they are pretty good at their job. So, what qualities does one need to survive in the competitive world of journalism, here is a list:

Accuracy
There is no room for errors in news, a journalist must make sure he gets accurate information. No guesses should be made, all the information should be double checked. As the popular slogan goes, ‘Get it first, but first get it right.’ A journalist needs to have an eye for detail and accuracy.

Speed
In journalism, speed is as important as accuracy. Someone may be a very good writer and may able to write an excellent story in a day. However, a journalist is required to write within the deadline, which may sometimes be not more than 15 minutes. There is always a deadline, if one cannot write in this pressure, then he is definitely not suitable for the job.

Curiosity
It is extremely important for a journalist to be curious, or else he will fail to spot a potential story. He must always be curious to find out as much as he can. He should have a wide range of interests and must be eager to learn about people, places and events. In addition, a keen interest in current affairs is a must.

Wide Range of Knowledge
A journalist must be a well read person, he does not have to be an expert, but he must possess a wide range of knowledge. This is important, because he will be informing people and this is not possible if he is not well informed.

Researching Skills
It is not possible for a journalist to know everything, however it is important that he must be able to research well within the given time. Each story requires a certain amount of research, a journalist must be able to make the most of the available resources to add depth to his story.

Writing Skills
A journalist must be a good writer, he must be able to express himself clearly. He must have good knowledge of grammar and must be able to write in a way that is easily understood by people. In addition, he must have good spellings and punctuation.

Interviewing Skills
A journalist primarily gets his information from people. He meets a lot of different types of people while covering a story. He should be able to ask relevant questions at the right time and should not be intimidated by a big personality. He should have a pleasing personality, or else people will be apprehensive to talk to him. In addition, he should be a good listener and must listen patiently to people irrespective of their age and background.

Objective Thinking
A journalist must be objective, no matter what the situation is. His story must be free of any prejudice and be reported as it is. He may have his own choices with regards to political parties and leaders, etc. However, he should keep them aside when covering a story. Moreover, he should be open to new ideas and views, he should not cover stories with any preconceived notions.

Networking Skills
A journalist must have the ability to build contacts. He must have a long list of acquaintances and friends from different walks of life. It is these contacts that can serve as a source, when a story breaks. Moreover, he should be able to gain the trust of people, so that they call him/her when they have some news.

Detached Attachment
A journalist must report a story in such a way that he is detached and attached to it at the same time. A certain amount of involvement is required to get a good story, but at the same time he should not get so attached that the final story is colored with his beliefs.

Commitment
A journalist must be very committed to his job, or else the deadlines and long working hours will get to him. Very often a journalist is required to sacrifice his holiday, to cover a breaking story. He must realize that he might have to sacrifice some of his personal life for the job. Hence, a journalist in general, must be committed to the basic human and democratic values.

Discipline
A journalist must be an extremely disciplined person, to be able to work constantly under strict deadlines. He must be punctual or else people will not be able to trust him with information. A disciplined person would give people confidence, to trust him with news.

Passion
A journalist must be a very passionate person, who is enthusiastic to get information, uncover scandals and inform people. Someone who is laid back and has a casual approach, will get bored of his job very quickly. Only a passionate person will be able to do the job every single day with enthusiasm.

Sense of Humor
Journalism can be a very ruthless field; covering tragedies and scandals so often may be depressing for many. A sense of humor would come handy during stressful times and keep a journalist going.

In addition to the above mentioned qualities, it is always better if a journalist has expert knowledge of the beat he intends to cover. He should also, always be in the good books of the police. Journalists are not made in classrooms, they are self motivated people with a fire in their belly. People who aspire to make it big in the world of journalism can certainly try imbibing these qualities. So, if you have most of these above mentioned qualities, then give the media a try, it might be your calling!