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According to the author Neil Postman, who was a media critic in the 80s, the quality of information is diminished by the media, and our desire to be entertained is amplified.

  • The media influences us more than stuff like values, morals, family or loyalty. It is always focused on celebrating the celebrities, the rich and the famous.
  • The media emphasises the fake image we present to the world, and social media has accelerated the phenomenon.

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The cultivation theory

The cultivation theory suggests that repeated exposure to media will gradually shape the beliefs of the real world.

George Gerbner proposed the cultivation theory in 1969. He suggested that ongoing exposure to media instilled the belief that the messages spread by the media apply to the real world. He stated that media exposure shaped beliefs, values, and attitudes.

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The first American reality TV show

The 1973 "An American Family" was the first reality show aired on PBS. *It offered an intimate examination of a single family alongside a powerful critique of American society.

The show was aired from January to March, but it was too realistic for a TV audience accustomed to sitcom perfection.

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