mtv - 1 W170 Reality T.V 16 December 2008 Reality TV Killed...

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1 W170 Reality T.V. 16 December 2008 Reality TV Killed the Video Star If there is one television network geared especially for teenagers and the younger demographic, it would most definitely be MTV. In fact, not one of MTV’s shows highlights adult life; instead it focuses on interpreting and presenting its conceived realities of young adult life. Based MTV’s reality television shows, it seems as though the network is exaggerating certain trends and stereotypes found in popular culture that feed into the desires and issues faced by teenagers, thereby luring them to the station in an attempt to satisfy their emotional needs. It is no lie that MTV was founded on the very idea of reconstructing popular desires and trends. Before launching MTV in 1981, then Executive V.P. Robert Pittman did a little homework: “I love research,” he said, “I don’t say that too often, because it is something people look down on. But I use research to find out what people like and what they are doing”(Heaton). He found that teenagers want the following: Irreverence, zaniness, instability, chaos, a frenetic pace, lots of disjoint thoughts, and of course information about music (Heaton). The channel immediately adopted a music video format named it “Music Television” in August of 1981 (I Want My MTV). The arrival of MTV started a pop culture phenomenon. It started in New York City and became available in most of the U.S. by the mid 1980’s, with help to the nationwide expansion of cable (I Want My MTV). The first video played on MTV was “Video Killed the Radio Star,”
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2 by the Buggles. Through the eighties and mid-nineties, people remember the Madonna and Michael Jackson era on MTV, from the late nineties well into the second millennium people remember Britney Spears and the boy bands on TRL, and as of now we think of the reality television shows. It appears as though the younger generation has replaced music videos as a popular trend with reality television. This plan that MTV has to appeal to the younger demographic has been unmistakably successful. Young adults aging from twelve to thirty-four name MTV as the most recognized network (Cabletvadbureau). MTV is the best way to connect with this age group who are ninety-one million strong and growing, and represent thirty-three% of the U.S. population (Cabletvadbureau). Daily News says: "MTV has had as far-reaching an influence on many facets of popular culture as any cable television network. MTV’s effects on music, TV and lifestyle fashions have been deep and enduring" (Cabletvadbureau). Teenagers look to MTV to find out about their world in their language, from their point of view. In fact, MTV’s industry functions like a news channel; instead of providing information on current events like normal news stations, it provides teens with information regarding trends and issues in popular culture. Since more teens turn in to MTV rather than CNN, this is where they look to find information pertaining to their emotional desires and issues that have been influenced by popular culture. In his book entitled
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