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Has Reality TV Gone Too Far?

by Cone Communications

I must admit, I am a reality TV fan. I grew up watching MTV’s Real World and then moved on to Survivor, The Osbournes, and now I watch Jon and Kate (Gosselin): Plus 8. At the heart of the show, parents and non-parents can find the humor of raising sets of multiple children and silly arguments about kid’s off-the-wall antics. However, recently, the reality show got a strong dose of unwavering paparazzi and negative publicity.

Granted, both TLC and the family are reaping the benefits by going through a crisis. After all, it’s human behavior to watch something dramatically unravel like the Gosselin’s marriage; unfortunately, it leaves eight young children in its wake. They may be wealthy, but that surely doesn’t buy happiness.


The saga continued this week when Jon and Kate announced their divorce in front of the TV cameras and received the show’s highest ratings ever. TLC said the show will be on hiatus for a couple months. During that time, here are some media suggestions to help the Gosselins heal quicker and provide more positive fodder for the media once the wounds heal.

  • Both parties need to stop talking to the press. Each week Jon and Kate take turns being on the cover of People magazine. Take time away from filming, conducting magazine interviews and from public places where you can be easily photographed.
  • Grant one exclusive interview after you have the chance to live through this new transition in your life.
  • Hire a publicist that cares about your well-being, not making money off the situation.
  • Develop a long-term plan to leverage your family’s fame to better serve others, perhaps families that are in similar predicaments.
  • Work with reputable media outlets to help cultivate a more positive vision of your family instead of the mud-slinging rumors that each party is alleging.
  • Both parties should partner with a special charity or cause close to their hearts and become passionate advocates for that cause. Helping others only makes you feel better and will help improve the public’s perception of you.
  • Since it’s time to move on, take down all associated websites that show the family in sunnier times. The media like to dwell on the past, so give them less ammunition to create stories.

-- Jenn DeBarge Goonan, Senior Account Supervisor




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