Friday, October 14, 2011

Girl Scouts Sparks National Discussion About Girls and Reality TV

Ad Age reports that Reality TV was up for debate at the "Behind the Scenes: Girls and Reality TV" panel, hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA. Held at Edelman headquarters, the discussion centered on the effects of reality TV on youth development. The Girl Scout Research Institute had just released figures from their 2011 study Real to Me: Girls and Reality TV, finding that half of the girls they surveyed believe reality shows are "mainly real and unscripted."

The panel, moderated by Noorain Khan, formerly of Jezebel.com, consisted of Jill Zarin of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York", Danielle Carrig, senior VP-advocacy and public affairs at A&E Networks, Kimberlee Salmond, senior researcher for the Girl Scout Research Institute, Jess Weiner, media strategist and author and Caeley Looney, a sophomore in high school and Girl Scout of 11 years.

Real to Me: Girls and Reality TV has been covered by Inside Edition, Entertainment Weekly, Babble, Jezebel, Black Book, Reality Check, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Television Blend, Augusta Free Press, Deadline New York, Broadcasting and Cable, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and many more.

Chicago Parent reports that Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana launched an interactive video campaign to empower girls ages 13 - 17 to share the realities of their lives. The "Reality Check" campaign launched with a live, television studio discussion between a panel of experts and girls about the results of a national research survey on teens and reality TV.

The Chicago Tribune caught up with Jessica Porter, a devotee of reality television. The 16-year-old enjoys the escapades of Snooki and the gang on "Jersey Shore," the manicured fisticuffs of "Basketball Wives" and the oceans of tears that regularly flow through "America's Next Top Model." To her, it's just entertainment. But to some of her fellow teens, she says, it's real life.

"I don't think a lot of my friends know it's not real," said Porter, a Girl Scout who lives in Bolingbrook. "When 'The Hills' came on, they were shocked it had a script. They were like, 'I can't believe that. I thought it was real.'"