DOCUSOAPS Observational, hybrid genre. It is a long running documentary series that followsindividuals/groups of people. Docusoaps started in the 1990s – because they were new they challenged soap operas and therefore attracts millions of viewers. They have a central protagonist and follow particular groups – displaying their lives indetail. The audience get to know the character(s). For example, The Family, Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and One Born Every Minute.
REALITY TV Is factual television – can also be known as ‘Infotainment’ (Information and Entertainment), that emerged in 1989-1999. Factual information is shown in theform of entertainment, for example, Magazine programmes. Reality TV is a mix of authentic material with serious information with commercial content. When we watch reality TV there is an element of observation and commentaries through the use of camera work.
FLY ON THE WALLThe camera is hidden or unseen and records the vents that unfold. For example, Big Brother and Educating Essex.
MIXEDCombination of interviews, observation, actuality footage, archive material and narration. ↓ Links everything together and advances the argument and the narrative.
SELF REFLEXIVEPeople are aware that the camera is following them and so often purposely talk to the camera. For example, The Secret Millionaire.
DOCUDRAMAContains reconstruction and re-enactments showing events that happened at the time. For example, Crimewatch.
FULLY NARATEDHas a narrator for the whole of the documentary. A voiceover is used to displaythe exposition (argument) and to make sense of what the audience can see. For example, Planet Earth and Human Planet.
DOCUMENTARIES & CURRENT AFFAIRS Current Affairs are journalistic lead, based on things that affect society, and aim to address the news and political agendas in more depth than news bulletins. Current affairs often argue a case or prove something wrong. Reporters frequently appear in vision, but there may be a voiceover. For example, Tonight with Trevor McDonald. Current affairs are mid way between documentaries and news, that explore important social developments. For example, Newsnight and Dispatches. A documentary may take longer to produce. Current affairs get stories together much quicker.