‘What a freak!’ An exploration of the freakshow aesthetic in popular factual programming

Base, Lucy (2011) ‘What a freak!’ An exploration of the freakshow aesthetic in popular factual programming. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation examines recent factual programming that demonstrates a shift in documentary tradition of being educative first and foremost. It documents how the changes in the broadcasting landscape have led to documentary programming having to hybridise in order to compete in the new deregulated and highly commercialised environment.

    Documentary now does not adopt the same privileged position in schedules it once did in previous years. In order to compete it has shifted away from its public service requirements to provide programming that now is of a more sensationalist nature to attract a large audience share. In particular, the documentaries under discussion portray their subjects as ‘freaks’. This raises many ethical issues about the relationship of the documentarist to their subject who arguably is exploited. This dissertation then concludes by covering the problematic issues raised when one person produces a recognisable image of another and explores the many ethical and moral implications that may arise.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2012 09:54
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:58
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/7007

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