Published on 19/02/2024
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Reality TV
  • After high-profile suicides and a Parliamentary enquiry, Ofcom changed the Broadcasting Code in 2021
  • Anyone coming along will be able to contribute to this collaborative ‘research in action’ as it gets underway at Aston University
  • Professor Helen Wood and Dr Mhairi Brennan will share insights at Society matters LIVE on Thursday 29 February at Hockley Social Club.

The new landscape for reality television production will be the topic for the next Society matters LIVE event at Café Artum in Hockley Social Club in Birmingham on Thursday 29 February.

This month experts will consider the evolving landscape for reality television production which demands a more caring environment.

After high-profile suicides and a Parliamentary enquiry, Ofcom changed the Broadcasting Code in 2021 to demand better welfare and ‘duties of care’ for participants. Yet at the same time survey reports from unscripted production crew outline serious concerns about working conditions in reality television.

Professor Helen Wood and Dr Mhairi Brennan will look at what this means for reality TV production workers and participants. They will share early insights from their AHRC research project entitled ‘ReCARETV: Reality Television, Working Practices and Duties of Care’ - which considers policy, production and participation in the UK ‘unscripted’ television sector.

The talk will last approximately 40 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A/discussion. Anyone coming along will be able to contribute to this collaborative ‘research in action’ as the research gets underway. A briefing will be given at the beginning to outline how the session will work and the methods being used. All materials needed to take part will be provided.

Get a little taster of this upcoming talk, and catch up on Dr Daniel Fitzpatrick's Society matters LIVE talk from November, below.

Professor Helen Wood said:

“I’m really looking forward to this highly interactive and participative session that will bring together insights from us, with insights from the audience. We can think together about the realities of reality television as an experience and what we might want from reality television as viewers at home.

“From the demands of the broadcasting code to the complexities of working cultures, this discussion promises to shed light on the unseen challenges behind the screen.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in media to come and gain a deeper understanding of the realities behind reality TV.”

You can book your seat at Reality TV: Who cares? here.

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7446 910063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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