The Instigator
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The Contender
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Reality TV does more good than harm

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2012 Category: Technology
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 48,588 times Debate No: 24333
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)




First some framework
We would like to start with definitions
Reality Tv- television programs in which real people are continuously filmed
- Oxford Dictionary
Weighing Mechanism
We would like to set the standard as society
Since reality TV can either do good or harm society, we believe that the team that improves society should win today's debate

With that said, we have a few main arguments

1. Economy

Reality TV stimulates the economy
The Reality TV industry produces a stimulus for the economy.
"If I pay a reality star 1/50 of what I'd pay Johnny Depp, my return is going to come back much quicker," said Mark Young, a professor at USC's Marshall School of Business.

Judge, this is obviously a huge good that come out of reality TV.
CNN reports that reality TV decreases unemployment rates in the US.
"Career Makeover, a new series that promises to tap into the frustrating low points of millions of today's out-of-work and underemployed Americans. The show will give viewers something that's perhaps more telling than the government's eagerly-awaited monthly employment report."

According to Washington Post, winning big on a reality television cooking show has helped
catapult the careers of even established chefs. As Geoffrey Zakarin, a food network iron chef,
stated "TV is the gigantic tide that lifts all boats"

Advertising is also a huge factor since
Tens of Millions of people watch reality TV- TIME most know occurs during the show in the middle of small breaks between the show. Heres the twist. Reality TV has advertising inside the show.

New York Times---->It is typically easier to weave a product into an episode of a reality show like "American Idol" or "Survivor" than into a scripted series like "Grey's Anatomy" or "Two and a Half Men."
Lets give an example. Lets say there is a family in a reality tv show using a vacuum cleaner. The actors in the reality tv show would compliment the cleanliness of the vacuum cleaner and this is a form of advertising.

Oregon State University----> 23 million tuned in "Multi-Millionaire" and 51 million watched the finale of "Survivor". This was an advertisers dream. This is why we see advertisers paying $2.1 million for sponsorship on "The Mole" The initial "Survivor" sponsors paid $4 million but "Survivor 2" price tag jumped to $12 million (Friedman, Harsh ‘Reality,' 2000:4 & Grover, Off the Island, 2000: 48). How do the networks benefit? CBS collected about $52 million in advertising for the initial "Survivor" (Grover, Off the Island, 2000: 48). ABC's "Millionaire" brought up it's operating income by 33% (Lacter, "Blair Witch TV, 2000:64).

The impact is that reality TV not only creates jobs and boosts employment rates, but it also boosts the economy and businesses through advertising.

2.It helps society
Reality TV is an easy way to make money and stimulate the economy. It costs very little to run and It is cheap. It gives oppurtunities for many of the unemployed. As we said in our 1st contention, Career Makeover is giving oppurtunities. We have to take advantage.

These shows teach others how to do different things.
For example, Yankee Workshop teaches about building and constructing. American Idol and America's Got talent shows the love of music.

The Impact is that If you lose, you got an opportunity and if you win, you win an oppurtunity. According to Martha Airth-Kindree, executive director of the Mile Bluff Medical Center
Foundation, "Scores of people have been inspired by "The Biggest Loser". " The popular reality
television show is the inspiration for a new weight-loss program in Juneau County

According to an article written by Dr. Michelle Golland, a mental health professional, she
believes that reality tv can be a good thing. As she states in her article, the shows "Intervention"
and "Obsessed" bring us into the lives of people suffering with mental health problems, drug
and alcohol addiction, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. "Intervention" helps treat people who
seek help on the show and also pays for their treatment, which many of them may otherwise
be unable to afford. It also allows us to witness the damage inflicted on every person in an
addict's life and the devastating impact on them. This show can help those who view it to
realize they need help, or encourage a family member to stage their own intervention with the
help of a professional, which they may never have had the courage to do until watching it on TV.
"Obsessed" is a painful display of people who have severe anxieties and are seeking treatment
for them.
The impact is that Reality TV helps society by helping the economy, teaching different things, inspiration for better health, and showing the world the lives of those with health problems.


i accept your definitions and weighing mechanism so i will start with my contentions

Contention 1: The sheer number of reality programmes is now driving TV producers to create filthier, more corrupt reality shows. Reality TV is actually getting worse as the audience becomes more and more used to the genre. In a search for ratings and media coverage, shows are becoming ever more vulgar and offensive, trying to find new ways to shock. When the British Big Brother was struggling for viewers in 2003, its producers responded by attempting to shock the audience that little bit more. "Big Brother" programmes have also shown men and women having sex on live TV, all in a desperate grab for ratings to justify their continued existence. Others have involved fights and racist bullying. Do we let things continue until someone has to die on TV to boost the ratings?

Contention 2: Reality TV encourages people to pursue celebrity status, and discourages the value of hard work and an education. Reality shows send a bad message and help to create a cult of instant celebrity. They are typically built about shameless self-promotion, based on humiliating others and harming relationships for the entertainment of each other and the viewers at home. These programmes suggest that anyone can become famous just by getting on TV and "being themselves", without working hard or having any particular talent. Kids who watch these shows will get the idea that they don't need to study hard in school, or train hard for a regular job. As John Humphrys points out, 'we tell kids what matters is being a celebrity and we wonder why some behave the way they do. As American lawyer Lisa Bloom fears, 'addiction to celebrity culture is creating a generation of dumbed-down women. Reality shows encourage such addictions and promote the generally misguided belief that they should aspire to be the reality stars they watch on their televisions.

Contention 3: Reality shows make for bad, lazy and corrupting television, encouraging such behaviour in society. They mostly show ordinary people with no special talents doing very little. If they have to sing or dance, then they do it badly – which doesn’t make for good entertainment. They rely on humiliation and conflict to create excitement. Joe Millionaire, where a group of women competed for the affections of a construction worker who they were told was a millionaire, was simply cruel. The emotions of the contestants were considered expendable for the sake of making viewers laugh at their ignorance. Furthermore, the programmes are full of swearing, crying and argument, and often violence, drunkenness and sex. This sends a message to people that this is normal behaviour and helps to create a crude, selfish society. One American reality show, “Are You Hot?”, in which competitors submit to a panel of judges for ‘appearance-rating’, was blamed by eating disorder experts as encouraging the notion that ‘appearance is the most important.

Contention 4: Reality TV is dishonest – it pretends to show “reality” but it actually distorts the truth to suit the programme makers. The shows are not really “real” – they are carefully cast to get a mix of “characters” who are not at all typical. Mostly they show a bunch of young, good-looking self-publicists, who will do anything to get on TV. Usually the programme makers try to ensure excitement by picking people who are likely to clash with each other. They then place them in unnatural situations, such as the Big Brother house or the Survivor island, and give them strange challenges in order to provoke them into behaving oddly. In The Bachelor, where a group of women compete for the affections of an eligible male, the ‘intimate dates’ they go on are filmed in front of any number of camera; that is not reality (Poniewozik, 2003).
Finally the makers film their victims for hundreds of hours from all angles, but only show the most dramatic parts. Selective editing may be used to create “storylines” and so further manipulate the truth of what happened.

Thank You and Vote Con
Debate Round No. 1


Good Luck!!

Your first argument is about how TV creators are creating corrupt shows
My response is that you have to understand that this gives opportunities. Remember Career Makeover! You had no numbers for how many people actually watch reality TV

Your second Argument was that encourages those to pursue a celebrity status
My response is that we are saying just that! People with absolutely no life, with no job, they are unemployed, can get money by being in these reality tv shows! I gave you examples of Career Makeover and how they create opportunities. It will also help benefit the economy.

Your third argument is that it is corrupting television.
My response is that there are so many other show, not only reality Tv. You have provided no number of how many people watch reality TV. We already stated that this helps economy!

Your fourth argument is that it is dishonest
My response is this...So, you want the truth, I don't think people would want to watch someone sleeping, or eating, or watching Tv. Of course they would show the interesting parts, that is how they make money to benefit economy

Thanks and please vote AFF


I will refute my opponents arguments

Contention 1: Helps the economy

This point i invalid because we have to weigh the argument of get money and bad behavior. Judges, would you want a country full of bad, lazy, corrupt, and rich people? Clearly, my point outweighs his.

Contention 2: Helps Society

This is the complete opposite of my worsens society argument. Clearly, it makes people corrupt, bad, and lazy

I forgot to provide sources before but here they are:

BBC News. "Reality TV under fire." 27 August 2001. BBC News. 5 July 2011.

Becker, Anne. "Hot or Not: Reality TV can be harmful to women." 1 March 2003. Pyschology Today. 4 July 2011.

Bentley, Paul. "Celebrity culture 'is making educated women dim-witted'." 16 June 2011. Daily Mail. 4 July 2011.

CNN. "Is reality TV a truly bad thing?" 10 January 2003. CNN Politics. 5 July 2011.

Fraser, Christian. "Italian TV bins reality shows." 3 April 2007. BBC News. 4 July 2011.

Humphrys, John. "Take this oath: First, do no harm." 28 August 2004. The Guardian. 4 July 2011.

Jury, Louise. "The Big Question: Has reality television had its day, or are audiences still attracted to it?" 4 January 2007. The Independent. 4 July 2011.

Poniewozik, James. "Why Reality TV is Good for Us." 12 February 2003. Time. 5 July 2011.

Sanneh, Kelefa. "The Reality Principle." 9 May 2011. The New Yorker. 4 July 2011.
Debate Round No. 2


Judge, here is the main part of today's debate

My opponent has provided absolutely no number of how many people watch reality tv. Without that, his whole case has fallen and I win this debate.

My opponent has not fully refuted my second contention. It is about these reality Tv shows that bring about awareness of disorders and alcoholism. This helps people be aware of their situations. It encourages family members and/or friends to stage their own intervention to earn money to treat their illnesses and disorders. My opponent has completely dropped this part of my argument.

Back to my first contention, we don't talk about money specifiaclly. Our tagline is economy, and we show that we are improving the economy.
Second, look at the topic Reality tv does more good than harm we must weigh the benefits and harms, not look into the future. As you can see, my opponent's refutation is invalid.

The standard or weighing mechanism was society

Our arguments benefit society!

1. Economy obviously benefits society
2. Helping society, obviously helps society

For all these reasons, vote pro


Judge, I will show why i have won this debate

My opponent keeps on saying that i don't provide a number of how many people watch realiy T.V.
so doesn't he.

He has not fully refuted any of my arguments

He gives weak refutations with little or no logic behind it

The Standard of today's debate is society

Contention 1: filthy and corrupt shows deteriorate society
Contention 2: when the value of hardwork is diminished, society is affected
Contention 3: Reality T.V. enourage society to be bad, lazy and corrupted
Contention 4: Reality T.V. encourages society to be dishonest
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent has said that my only strong refutation is that my opponent has no number of how many people watched reality tv.

Thus since their case is not standing, we win this debate

I have fully refuted all of my opponent's arguments with logic and reasoning and tied back to the standard- society

Medical awareness and economy are perfectly good refutations with logic

For all these reasons, vote pro


I have refuted all my opponent's arguments and clearly won this debate.

My opponent has made weak refutations

I related all my arguements to the standard

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 4


My opponent has not told me how many people actually watch reality TV. He has not fully refuted any of my arguments. Since his whole case stands on the fact that many people watch reality tv and he has not give me a number, I can see nothing but a pro win in today's debate!!

Thanks you for a great debate, I hope we can debate again!!


  • How many people will watch reality T.V. is not relevant and he did not, too

  • I have refuted his contentions

  • I have refuted his attacks

  • i have related my contentions to the standard

  • I have won this debate

Vote Con and Thank you for judging this debate

Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by kingwilliam 5 years ago
Reality shows often set a bad example for young kids whom are often not restricted from watching shows, so therefore i would be against reality t.V shows.
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