Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Big Brother’s Big Brain? Shame it had to come from Lithuania

Posted in Uncategorized by Adam Westbrook on September 12, 2006

Big Brother UK logoHere in the UK the Big Brother format has become tired and ridiculous. Samey producers seem to be unable to divert from the idea of 12 ‘wannabe famous on the telly’ types with no personality or interesting qualities, wandering round the BB house in boredom. It’ll be the same next year of course.
But the Lithuanians have come up with a flash of genius.

Introducing an intelligent reality programme Realybes Sou or My Reality. A house filled with cameras and a dozen or so trainee journalists. Their daily task – to each produce a news article to go on the Realybes Sou website. Of course, they weren’t isolated; a spa bath for interviewing celebrities and they’re allowed to venture out into the real world.

Not only does this sound like interesting viewing, according to an account by British journalist Nicholas Jones who advises the contestants on their stories, the programme has done a bit of social good.

According to Nick’s account in the Media Guardian, he worked with 22-year-old trainee Ievute Zubaviciute on a crime story about a gang stopping buses in the street and terrorising passengers. Covering the story got them both briefly in police custody but eventually led to a major police crackdown on street gangs. And all covered by the Realybes Sou cameras. Brilliant; Endemol have got a lot to learn.

Click here to read Nicholas Jones’ full story in the Media Guardian.

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