ABSTRACT

This chapter distinguishes between different modes of representing reality within and across media forms. It outlines a range of debates and issues around the relationship of media to ‘reality’ and realism. The chapter identifies different strategies in media representations of reality. Thus, any serious attention to reality media needs to account for written language in the form of journalism as much as for the spoken word of TV and radio news, webcams and the internet in general, and also for the ‘virtual’ realities of games and online environments. In addition, it is important to consider popular music and how it has been understood in relation to validations of the real and authenticity. Realist works elicited scandalised responses and were censured as immoral, decried for wallowing in squalid and depressing subject matter. This is perhaps a burden that ‘reality media’ often still contends with in its claims to truth.