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  1. 1. Are there some stories that are just too sensitive for soap operas to cover? Kate Vernon (Project manager) Jessica Stevens (Researcher) Sean Grossett (Content Creator) Leila Siassipour (Presentation and dissemination)
  2. 2. What is a Soap Opera? <ul><li>By definition, soap operas are ongoing works of fiction, and episodic in nature. </li></ul><ul><li>In Layman’s terms, soap operas are stories told over an extended period, with different characters being featured at different times </li></ul>
  3. 3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m86d http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1375712/EastEnders-controversial-baby-swap-storyline-finally-comes-end-Ronnie-jailed-crime.html
  4. 4. Eastenders – Cot death and baby swop storyline <ul><li>1,044 complaints </li></ul><ul><li>But said that “the scenes were not unduly disturbing or graphic” </li></ul><ul><li>Considering the Eastenders audience ‘the storyline would not have exceeded their expectations given that the soap is known for presenting a range of challenging and, at times, controversial issues’. </li></ul>http:// www.mobiletoday.co.uk/News/13868/broadband_speeds_2011_ofcom.aspx
  5. 5. Baby swap story line Complaints <ul><li>‘ Distressing’ and ‘Horrific’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ An inaccurate, insensitive and sensationalised portrayal’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Inappropriately scheduled in a pre-watershed time slot’ </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Regulators said – ‘as there were a number of events which led Ronnie to swap the baby, there was sufficient editorial context to justify the storyline’. </li></ul>
  7. 7. More Complaints <ul><li>A manner of being extremely controversial, loud or attention grabbing. When choosing to report heavily on stories with shock value or attention grabbing names or events, rather than reporting on more pressing issues to the general public. </li></ul>Sensationalism
  8. 8. Hierarchy of needs http://slamscreen.com/2011/09/23/5-ingredients-of-a-truly-great-film/
  9. 9. <ul><li>Jana Bennett, BBC </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The show is absolutely not suggesting that this behaviour is typical of a mother who has suffered such a terrible and tragic loss’ </li></ul>
  10. 10. Mumsnet <ul><li>‘ A bereaved mother has been portrayed as deranged and unhinged’ . (05.01.11) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Mass audiences <ul><li>Most likely to accept the preferred reading </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic and the extreme </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate for certain ages? </li></ul>http://www.wishfulthinking.co.uk/2007/12/17/should-artists-give-the-audience-what-they-want/
  12. 12. Uses and gratifications <ul><li>Cognitive needs </li></ul><ul><li>Affective needs </li></ul><ul><li>Personal integrative needs </li></ul><ul><li>Social integrative needs </li></ul><ul><li>Tension free needs </li></ul>
  13. 13. Coronation street http://slucks.com/?p=79
  14. 14. <ul><li>Controversy </li></ul><ul><li>“ Street of shame” </li></ul><ul><li>12 years on.. </li></ul><ul><li>Younger target audiences may not find it as shocking </li></ul>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollyoaks
  15. 15. Initially panned by television critics and was subject to adverse press attention BUT was more popular with teenage audiences Aired in 1990’s Are sensitive stories subject to the soap opera they are aired on? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollyoaks
  16. 16. Do some storylines do more good than bad? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollyoaks http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/news/a136792/hollyoaks-honoured-with-mental-health-award.html http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s13/hollyoaks/spoilers/a190256/2721-kathleen-arrives-in-the-village.html http://www.youtube.com/user/bekbek93/videos
  17. 17. Attention received <ul><li>‘ If a single viewer gets help as a result of this storyline then it would have been worthwhile’ </li></ul>Shows the harsh realities of the disorder http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1265150/Hollyoaks-starlet-Emma-Rigby-vamps-superhero-style.html
  18. 18. Desensitising http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/3353504/Black-and-white-TV-generation-have-monochrome-dreams.html http://thehiberniatimes.com/2011/06/14/watching-tv-increases-heart-diabetes-and-death-risk-says-study/1761
  19. 19. Conclusion YES! Some are too sensitive Does raise awareness for such controversial issues http://www.eatingdisordersadvice.co.uk/2011/09/16/personality-factors-that-might-put-a-young-person-at-risk-of-developing-an-eating-disorder/
  20. 20. References <ul><li>BBC, (August 2011) Eastenders cleared over baby swap storyline [online] Available: </li></ul><ul><li>www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-14363208 [accessed 22 January 2012] </li></ul><ul><li>BBC, (January 2011) Anne Diamond condemns ‘demeaning’ Eastenders cot death plot [online] Available: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-12129846 [accessed 22 January 2012] </li></ul><ul><li>Bennett, J. Mumsnet, (January 2011) Mumsnet letter of complaint to the BBC [online] Available: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/eastenders-cot-death-story [accessed 22 January 2012] </li></ul><ul><li>Roberts, J. Mumsnet, (January 2011) Mumsnet letter of complaint to the BBC [online] Available: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/eastenders-cot-death-story [accessed 22 January 2012] </li></ul><ul><li>Chandler, D.(1994) Why do people watch television [online] Available: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/short/usegrat.html#B [accessed 22 January 2012] </li></ul><ul><li>Howard, L. Walton, L. (October 2011) The desensitisation theory [online] Available: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/05lewis/desensitisation-theory [accessed 22 January 2012] </li></ul><ul><li>Future Hi, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need [online] Available: </li></ul><ul><li>www.futurehi.net/docs/Maslows_Hierarchy.html [accessed 22 January 2012] </li></ul>