Children on Reality TV Shows a Concern of Prof. Jeff McCall '76

Children on Reality TV Shows a Concern of Prof. Jeff McCall '76

May 16, 2009

DSC_5799.JPGMay 16, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — "Jeffrey M. McCall, communication professor at DePauw University in Indiana , has critiqued TV and media for more than a decade, and he wrote about reality television in the book Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences," notes Dan Good in today's Press of Atlantic City. The story in which the professor is cited examines the media scrutiny the family featured on TV's Jon & Kate Plus 8 is undergoing.

Good adds, "McCall is concerned about the impact the lifestyle will play on the eight little ones. 'Ten years from now, these children are going to have to hear about this, they're still going to be the children from the show,' McCall said. 'They didn't decide to participate in this.'"

The article begins, "Jon & Kate Plus 8 began with a bunch of cute kids, but is now embroiled in marital strife. Some people think the matriarch on TLC's reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8 is a victim, after murky tabloid reports surfaced of her husband's affair. Others say she's a wifezilla for her demanding nature, or narcissistic for trying to lasso fame at any cost, or the pawn of a networkJon-Kate.jpg trying to fuel ratings. Maybe she's none of those things. Maybe she's all of them. Maybe she's just a loving mom with eight bundles of joy. Either way America is watching, as the camera now zooms into the private lives of people who've opened their home for all to see. Is all the frenzy and scrutiny on the Gosselins' personal lives fair?"

Access the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

A 1976 graduate of DePauw, Jeff McCall is a widely quoted expert on media matters. He published an April 16 op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the way network TV programs depict marriage and recently discussed the future of satellite radio with Canada's Macleans. The professor has been cited in articles published by more than 80 newspapers and appeared seven times on FOX News Channel's' O'Reilly Factor.

Dr. McCall also serves as the faculty sponsor of DePauw's student radio station, WGRE, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. Read more here.

Source: Press of Atlantic City (N.J.)