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In Reality We Trust

Debunking our perception of reality entertainment being trash.

Andrea Schnarr


Reality We Trust examines the convergence of socio-political and economic themes in the context of reality entertainment. From questioning what worth reality entertainment and supporting media provides us with, I came to ask the question: How might reality entertainment portray society or mask moments of social upheaval? This inquiring reflects my personal adoration for all things pop-culture from a marketer and strategist standpoint. Using semiotics, what are we visually compelled to believe or absorb versus the contextual implications this form of media intake has on ourselves and our community. I examine this by using primary and secondary resources-- compiling a database of entertainment field experts, psychologists, advisors and fellow pop-culture enthusiasts. Reality We Trust packages my findings but allows audiences to cultivate their own hierarchy of opinions when it comes to assessing or enjoying reality entertainment. Reality We Trust can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify Podcasts!


Challenges I encountered with coming to the conception of Reality We Trust is selectively seeking resources that reflect macro themes within reality entertainment. There is so much supporting media and redhieric with tabloids and social media that easily sways our perception of reality entertainment. My challenge was boiling down the history of storytelling, television, broadcasting, political barriers in legislation, and my passion for pop-culture into this deep dive of media studies into a product that the average person could follow, relate to and take in. While writing and preparing content and conversations to have on Reality We Trust-- the podcast, I was able to identify lenses to always bring back our examination of current reality entertainment too. Race & Gender, Wealth, The Realness Question, and Technology are the macro themes conversations can always be boiled down to in their implication of the content's context to viewers.


My final design iteration for Reality We Trust was taking my research and knowledge and applying it to a podcast. This is an ongoing project that will span beyond graduation, into a journalistic forum and platform for reality entertainment professionals to build a platform in awareness-- debunking our perception of reality entertainment as trash and delivering it to the masses. I am far from marking official conclusions on the topic, but rather seek to encourage discussion and constantly challenge those who are quick to discuss the reality entertainment genre as less than. I look forward to continuing this project, producing my podcast, and maybe someday continuing my studies on the topic and its history. Thank you to all of my collaborators, advisors and guests who have spoken to me along the process!

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