should kids appear on reality TV?

should kids appear on reality TV?
Children and teenagers are increasingly becoming the stars of reality TV shows; most recently, they’re fronting series such as Trading Spouses and Growing up Gotti. USA TODAY’s Robert Bianco points out that FOX’s show Trading Spouses didn’t care that it was “humiliating two of these kids,” and asks, “why are we exposing their growing pains to a national audience for entertainment?” He writes that “these shows are made with parental consent, but that isn’t the issue, particularly because it’s so likely to be uninformed. Parents can’t be expected to know how their children are going to be presented by some reality producer, and children shouldn’t be punished if their parents guess wrong.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.