(Extended Essay) M.A.
Reality television is playing an increasingly important role in our daily lives; however, there have been insufficient research on the topic, especially in the reality-variety format. In Western public opinion, it is believed that the Chinese media system is dictated by the CCP, that it is more valuable to study informational content, and that Chinese audiences are passive consumers. However, an analysis of the reality program Who's the Murderer will suggest otherwise. The analysis for the project was three-fold: (1) an analysis the production and political economy of culture; (2) textual analysis of the program contents; and (3) audience reception of the show based on the analysis of Weibo posts. This study demonstrates that the market forces are playing an increasing role in media production, there exists a blending of informational content and entertainment content within reality television, that the content may lead to social activism, and that Chinese audiences are active participants in the online environment.
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Thesis advisor: Yin, Siyuan
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