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Authenticity in Reality Television—The Case of ‘Sing! China’

Yuting Xie, Megat Al Imran Yasin, Syed Agil Shekh Alsagoff and Lay Hoon Ang

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 1, March 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.1.29

Published: 26 March 2021

The issue of onscreen authenticity has become a controversial topic among the public, especially in the Information Era. The reality television phenomenon is global; therefore, it is worth studying the topic of authenticity in reality television in a particular context. We analysed authenticity in reality television through the programme ‘Sing! China’, focusing on which authenticity issues were present and how these issues were depicted. The chosen methodology combined relevant literature and a case study, and the discussion about authenticity in the programme was studied through online audience discourse such as their communications and interactions. The research showed that authenticity in reality television was a type of mediated authenticity by directors. It mainly manifested in two ways: performing authenticity and fabricated authenticity, from the perspective of the performance of participants and the production of programmes respectively. The findings indicated that authenticity in reality television does not fully reflect the truth. This study can not only help us explore manifestations of the truth on the screen, but can also aid in the future development of reality television programmes.

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ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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