Does BLM deserve the hatred it gets

Press releases

23.09.2010 | 64 / 2010

“What is actually still real on German television?” This question was asked yesterday evening by media experts and well-known protagonists from TV formats that deliberately bear the label “Reality”, but in which a lot is fictitious. Around 350 visitors came to the town hall at the invitation of the Bavarian State Office for New Media (BLM) and the Augsburg media company to find out why so many, especially young people, scripted reality programs like “Familien im Brennpunkt” and casting shows like “DSDS” , Viewers and what social impact this could have.

It is "the permanent borderline behaviors below the level of legal infringement, which may gradually change our value system without our being aware of it," said BLM President Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Ring warned with a view to the mentioned entertainment formats at the beginning. And the Mayor of Augsburg, Hermann Weber, then asked what the social price was for the staged illusory world.

Cultural journalist Dr. Alexander Kissler has already found a clear answer to Weber's question in his book "Dummgeglotzt: How television makes us stupid". In Augsburg, he sharpened his criticism again: “It is screaming and riot TV of the most vulgar form.” The freely invented stories and amateur actors from the scripted programs can all be “thrown into the same gutter from which they crawled . ”Jürgen Erdmann from Norddeich-TV, who produces the formats“ Die Schulermittler ”and“ Fraud Cases ”, defended himself with the assertion:“ We don't think up any cases that don't happen. ”But he also admitted:“ Who want to see it when there are no problems? "

For his "cynicism", Kissler was accused by psychologist Angelika Kallwass ("Zwei bei Kallwass") of merely ironicizing and looking down at the audience. Kallwass sees her show, in which she solves staged conflicts with amateur actors, as a kind of "help in life" for viewers. She wanted to convey "insight into change" through a special culture of debate, which both Kissler and moderator Bernd Gäbler questioned. Regardless of whether it is scripted reality or casting shows: Ultimately, the social milieu in the stories and the staging of the actors (fat, uneducated, often with financial worries) serve clichés and resentments. "I don't want to rule that out, but we will resolve it," replied producer Erdmann.

Singer and author Markus Grimm, who wrote a book about his experiences as the winner of the fourth "Popstars" season and now receives various inquiries from children and young people via Facebook, confirmed the thesis of deliberately chosen cliché stories. Casting shows are sold as a “school of life” and pretend that you only have to work hard enough on yourself to become a star and therefore endure tough judgments by the jury. But the private fate would meanwhile be much more important than the artistic representation. In some cases, according to Grimm, disabled people were even brought before them.

This demonstration and the devaluation of the candidates as well as the manipulation of the audience criticized Dr. Maya Götz, head of the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television, as particularly problematic: The makers “take us as viewers when positioning winners and losers”. In addition, problems are literally blown up in order to offer children and young people, whose fear of the future is increasing in real society, a projection and identification surface. There are still no studies on scripted reality, but the rates increased enormously in the afternoon. In the group of 3 to 13-year-olds, the market share is higher than in the children's program and therefore the obvious manipulation of the audience is particularly dangerous.

At least weaken this manipulation by pointing out the fictitious stories and stagings much more clearly than with just one sentence in the credits, suggested Ring. As chairman of the Commission for Youth Media Protection (KJM), he found the role model functions of such programs particularly questionable, which was also confirmed by the media researcher Götz. Perhaps there is something in the reality forms that young people are not offered enough in real life. Their conclusion: "Every society gets the programs it deserves!"

>> Contact: Bettina Pregel, Tel. (089) 63808-318, [email protected]