E-mail: oliver.thalen@socant.su.se

Research

The Production of reality TV in Ghana
During the past decade various formats of so called reality TV has taken over a large portion of the television airtime in Europe and USA. The main reason for the emergence of these shows was the need to cut costs in production, and the reason for the shows' subsequent sudden increase in numbers is that they proved to be extremely popular. It is thus a combination of low cost with high profit. In recent years people in places outside Europe and USA have started producing their own reality formats and shows. This project seeks an understanding of what it means to work as a producer of reality TV in Ghana and aims to explain how the reality TV phenomena is integrated into the Ghanaian society. The main part of my fieldwork will be conducted in Accra at Charterhouse Productions, together with the producers of the 2007 season of the very popular Reality-TV show Stars of the Future. The show is in the format of a talent contest in song, stand-up-comedy, and dance. My field method will mainly consist of participant observation and informal and formal interviewing.

Selected publications

2011

  • Thalen, O., ‘Ghanaian entertainment brokers: Urban change, and Afro-cosmopolitanism, with neo-liberal reform’, Journal of African Media Studies 3:2, pp. 227-240.