Tag Archives: Daily Mail

Channel 4…Benefits Street. Are kids fair game?

20 Jan

Is Benefits Street using Child Poverty for entertainment?

Benefits Street has been one of the most talked about programmes on TV this year.  Largely in part because of its relentless focus on the some of the least attractive recipients of the welfare system. The sort of people guaranteed to drive middle England apoplectic with rage and have the readers of the Daily Mail spluttering into their cups of tea in fury.

I presume most of the participants in the programme have consented to appearing in the programme, the resultant programme may not be what they expected but it is ultimately with their consent (although I am a bit unsure how they got consent from resident drunk Fungi , who in addition to his love for the amber liquid was revealed to be illiterate).

That though only applies to the adults, todays episode focused on the children of the residents of James Turner street. In doing so it took on a more worrying dimension. The kids are in homes that are portrayed as ranging from mildly dysfunction to a point where you are wondering where the hell are social services.

Ultimately the question is even with the assumed consent of their parents it is right to put these kid’s situation at home on the Network TV for the public’s entertainment? It is no surprise the programme has been dubbed by the rest of the media as benefit porn.

 

X-Factor…Can we use Twitter to predict this week’s results?

3 Nov

One of the biggest developments to come out of the slew of reality TV programmes we have had over the last few years is the engagement between TV and social media. One of leaders in this regard is the X-Factor. In contrast to the traditional view of TV programme makers, this programmes have has gone out of its way to leverage all the outlets offered by digital and social media to reach out to its target audience.

All the contestants have Twitter and Facebook accounts they actively use to engage with their support base, at the end of programmes all the performances are loaded to YouTube to allow the audience relive the moments, and the programme strongly encourages its audience to interact with the show using Twitter and Skype. It is a positively 21st century show in this regard.

As the programme promotes itself with social media, but can I also use social media to find more about the programme. In particular can I use social media to predict the relative popularity of the contestants?

I have tried a little experiment for tomorrow’s progamme, to determine the most likely contestant to be in the bottom two on Sunday. The experiment data gathered mainly from Twitter is outlined below

No of Followers: I compare the number of followers each contestant has, this is the major input we use to determine popularity but it is not the only factor.

No of Tweets: I use the number of tweets to determine how much the contestants interact with their fan base. A higher level of interaction would encourage loyalty and loyalty is a strong indication of the willingness to vote.

Daily Mail mentions: This is an odd one, but I have to take into consideration that there are fans that are not active on social media and are influenced in other ways. In general these will be mainly from the older generation, a generation more in tune with the sensibilities of the Daily Dail.

We apply our formula to turn these into points by giving  a different weighting to the number of followers, the number of tweets posted, the dailymail mentions and  taking into consideration groups versus indivduals and this gives us the table below

X-Factor - Can twitter predict results?

X-Factor – Can twitter predict results?

Now this is only indicative and does not take into consideration the performance on Saturday night which can change the the popularity stakes significantly, but we are taking our measure before Saturday to see if popularity is a greater inidicator of who wins than actual performance.

By our reckoning the bottom two will come from Christopher Maloney, Kye Sones, District 3 and surprisingly Ella Henderson. Unexpectedly Rylan Clark looks very safe. It will be very interesting to see how accurate our prediction model is.