Kid Nation:had reality TV gone too far?
In the spring, TV viewers could see a group of parents waving to their kids andputting them in the hands of a television production company (the CBS). Thechildren had been chosen to take part in a new reality: “Kid Nation". Beforethe children begin filming every parent signed a 22 page contract that hasraised eyebrows. In the contract, parents had agreed to allow their kids to dowhatever they were told to do by the show’s producers or risk expulsion fromthe show. The contract also said thatparents could get frequent updates but weren’t allowed direct contact withtheir children, who could choose to leave at any time and, in fact, some did.Also, parents were restricted from commenting on what happened, subject to a potential$5 million penalty.
The realityfeatures 40 over-achieving kids, ages 8 to 15, who were placed in an abandonedtown in New Mexico with the goal of creating a functioning society includingsetting up a government system. The kids had to build their own society, freeof adult influence and free of many modern-days facilities such as electricity,indoor bathrooms and school. The contestants worked from sunup to sundown everysingle day, prompting the initial controversy on whether child labor laws werebeing violated. Civil rights lawyer LisaBloom explained: “Unlike the children in ‘Kid Nation’, if we have child actors, theirhours, their working conditions are very carefully regulated by the state andthey have tutors to help them cope with missing school. It sounds to me likeKid Nation’s kids were exploited”.
A secondcontroversy was raised when an anonymous complaint came that four children hadaccidentally drunk bleach while one was burned in her face with hot greasewhile cooking in an unsupervised kitchen. In a statement, CBS explained thatthe few minor injuries that took place were all treated immediately and byprofessionals. They added that the kids were under good care and that thesecomplaints were distorting the true picture of the Kid Nation experience, aboutwhich the overwhelming majority of kids were highly enthusiastic and happy. Bythe time the local sheriff’s department tried to investigate, production on theshow had ended.
1.- Answerthese questions about the text. Use your own words whenever possible (2points).
a. Whichare the conditions of the contract that the parents signed?
b.According to Lisa Bloom, what`s the difference between the kids in this realityand child actors?
2.- Readthe following statements, decide whether they are tru or false and justify youranswer by quoting evidence from the text (2 points)
a. Only afew parents signed the 22-page contract.
b. Thechildren were free to go to school during the show.
c. The contestants worked one day and rested the next.
d. The local sheriff’s department investigated the real conditions of the children inthe show.
3.- Find inthe text the word of group of words which match these definitions. (1 point,o,20 each)
a. Raising your hand and moving it form side to side as a way of greeting someone(Paragraph 1)
b. Situatedinside the building (Paragraph 2)
c. Triggering (Paragraph 2)
d. Occurring unexpectedly, unintentionally, or by chance (Paragraph 3)
e. A formal communication (Paragraph 3)
4.-Complete the text using the correct words from the box below. There are twowords that you won’t need (2 points, 0,25 each).
The film-maker Roger Grief explained two months ago (a)…………producers on the realityshow “Supernanny” were (b)…………….to force children to cry. Roger Grief believesthat reality TV shows should be banned from using children under three, aschildren who appear in programs (c)…………in ‘Supernanny’ could suffer long-termharm. These types of shows put babiesand young children (d)………….risk . In programs like (e)……………. We see babies in acutedistress ignored or manhandled. It is time (f)……………………a halt an make sure neitherthe children (g)………………their relationships with their parents are harmed in theshort or longer term. Babies and children on reality shows should be regulated bythe same laws (k)……………child actors.
TO CALL THESE AT TOLD SUCH
CALLING NOR OR HOW AS
5.- Write acomposition of about 150 words on ONE of the following topics (3 topics).
a. In your view, has reality TV gone too far?
b. Five years ago you decide to take part in a reality show. Describe your experienceand how it changed your life.