Death by reality TV - should broadcasters bear more responsibility for the scenarios they unleash?

Victim Svetlana Orlova - pic: Antenna 3/YouTube
A Spanish broadcaster has become embroiled in a row after a guest on one of its chat shows was found murdered five days after her appearance. It wasn't the show that killed her but seemingly her former boyfriend who the show's host had thought it would make good tv to wheel out live on air to propose to the woman who - it turns out - ditched him for his abusive behaviour.

Researchers putting together the Diario de Patricia programme for channel Antena 3 had overlooked the fact that there was a court order preventing their 'surprise guest' from being within 500 metres of Svetlana Orlova. The tragic case has highlighted the need for broadcasters to be more careful when setting up situations that play on people's psyche's and may lead to outcomes the broadcasters can't control (and probabably won't be interested in) after the programme's gone out on air.

This echoes similar debate in the UK over the acceptable boundaries of reality tv and playing with people's vulnerable psychologies.

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