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National hysteria: the first year of reality TV in Slovakia

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In 2005, the Slovak print and broadcast media discussed reality TV events as avidly as anything from the fields of politics, economics or culture. While the majority of entertainment programming on Slovak television is of foreign origin, the arrival of reality TV programmes that involved the use of local and foreign ordinary contestants in unscripted settings before the gaze of a directly participating national audience appeared to redefine Slovak media culture for that year. Following an examination of the central properties of reality TV that have determined its worldwide success with national audiences, the ways in which reality TV reflected Slovak society will be discussed. In the absence of any ethnographic research, this article refers to a range of contemporary mass media sources collected in Slovakia and accessed electronically to assess the characteristic properties and developments of reality TV programming in Slovakia, its national impact on Slovak media culture and its possible implications for national self-perception through an examination of the discourses that defined Slovak reality TV in its first year of broadcast.

Keywords: Slovakia; celebrity; fandom; media culture; national identity; reality TV; television

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Comenius University.

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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  • The Journal of European Popular Culture investigates the creative cultures of Europe, present and past. Exploring European popular imagery, media, new media, film, music, art and design, architecture, drama and dance, fine art, literature and the writing arts, and more, the journal is also of interest to those considering the influence of European creativity and European creative artefacts worldwide.
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