Thursday, December 2, 2010

E-E and infotainment

The Singhal and Rogers article asks whether "the educational function, if creatively incorporated, enhance[s] the entertainment function" (p. 124). In my opinion, not only is the answer yes, but people are always learning from entertainment - the question is WHAT they are learning. Even the crassest "entertainment-perversion" programming teaches you something, though that something may be of little value (anything on Jersey Shore). I think the quality of the entertainment goes up with the quality of the education. Would Jon Stewart be as popular as a comedian if his content wasn't of such high quality? Is there really a difference between E-E and "infotainment"? Infotainment is often decried for dumbing down current events, and throughout college I listened to my professors freak out that my age group was (allegedly) getting most of its news from The Daily Show. But I am not convinced that having Jon Stewart keep me updated on politics is fundamentally different from Big Bird teaching my little cousin the alphabet. What does everyone else think?


  1. I actually agree, but as long as it is not the only place you go to for the news. I think that the power of a well done show such as the Jon Stewart show is that the format make some ideas more memorable than traditional news. Considering how much "noise" there is, I think the show accomplishing a lot in terms of communicating ideas about current events. Maybe the difference between E-E and "infotainment" lies more in the goals of the productions? Although I think that Stewart does have the goal of educating his audience. But the traditional E-E has been more focused on development efforts and health issues.

  2. It's funny, I had the same thought when I was reading the "edu-tainment" articles as well. Perhaps a better definition of what specifically constitutes "learning" is needed. I'd consider Jon Stewart "edu-tainment," sure. He even wrote his own textbook ;) What is most important, I think and as Willow also commented, is the diversity of messages that the viewers receive.