Transparency in the media. An essay about the ethical issues of the Big Brother show.

Essay by melinagyUniversity, Bachelor'sC+, February 2003

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Generalities and rules

"Big Brother" - five women and five men are living in one house without any

contact to the outside world, to friends and relatives. 120 technicians and

producers, 28 cameras and 59 micros deal with and watch them around the clock.

Highlights of the happenings can be seen at TV every night. The candidates

are periodically assessed. Who conquers the hearts of the viewers, who is

rejected? The rule is: the group names two people, one of them has to leave a

week later accordingly to the viewer's choice. After 100 days the last person in

the house will win 250,000 DM. Mobbing is required.

The Americans made the rules much more difficult in the third series of BB. Each

week, one person wins Head of House (or HOH). The HOH nominates two house

guests, each week, to leave the house. Then, a few days later, there is a Veto

Challenge. The winner of the Veto challenge can veto one of the HOH's

nominations. If this happens, the HOH will nominate a third house guest for eviction.

Finally, the two remaining nominated house guests are put to a vote by the other

house members. The house guest receiving the most votes leaves the house. The

last two remaining in the house are subjected to a final vote by the evicted

house guests, and the winner takes home $500,000.

The Dutch version of the programme produced high audience ratings. The

Netherlands were in a "Big Brother"-fever. The candidates became media stars. Well

over 20,000 interested people applied for the German version. Eventually 10

passed the medical psychological tests. The composition should have been more

contrary, the demands should have been stronger than in the Dutch model. But

it's always possible: Every candidate...