Turtles and Peacocks: Collaboration in Entertainment—Education Television

Martine Bouman (PhD, Wageningen University) is managing director of the Netherlands Entertainment—Education Foundation and an independent health communication researcher and media consultant.
Communication Theory (Impact Factor: 1.48). 04/2002; 12(2):225 - 244. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2885.2002.tb00268.x


This Dutch study focused on how health communication professionals and television professionals collaborate in the design and implementation of entertainment—education (E—E) television programs. A conceptualization of the collaboration process is offered by drawing upon Bourdieu's general theory of practice. An E—E collaboration is a strange kind of marriage between these two fields. Health communication professionals are perceived by television professionals as turtles (trustworthy and solid, but slow), while television professionals are perceived by health communication professionals as peacocks (arrogant, with big egos and preening their feathers). These differences can be resolved by jointly creating a new frame of reference and constituting a new genre of E—E television.

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    • "SndBites is a contemporary example of what is known as the entertainment-education (EE) communication strategy, which is defined as " the process of purposively designing and implementing a mediating communication form with the potential of entertaining and educating people, in order to enhance and facilitate different stages of prosocial (behaviour) change " (Bouman, 1999, p. 25). Entertainment platforms (such as Internet series, serious games, pop music, and television soaps) reach large sections of young audiences (Bouman, 2002). According to Montgomery (1990): " Popular art forms have a unique ability to engage viewers in ways that news and public affairs programs do "
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    ABSTRACT: Internet technology in which social media play a central role offers new opportunities for health communication. The Center for Media & Health (CMH) in the Netherlands in collaboration with the University of Twente developed a methodology called Mark My Words (MMW) to detect and monitor interpersonal conversations on social media. The MMW methodology is based on the concept of “markers” and on data analysis via text mining techniques. MMW is applied in an innovative web-based entertainment-education series called SndBites. This article describes the design of this new research methodology and shares the methodological advantages and challenges.
    Journal of Technology in Human Services 07/2012; 30(3-4):312-326. DOI:10.1080/15228835.2012.743394
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    • "These scholars further described EE as a communication strategy that can be used to " disseminate ideas to bring about behavioral and social change " (Singhal and Rogers 2002, p. 117). In the public health arena, entertainment-education has been embraced as a cost-effective means to communicate health information in an engaging format to a mass audience (Brodie et al. 2001; Bouman 2002; Glik et al. 1999; Valente et al. 2007). Within the context of popular prime time programming in the United States, an audience of millions of rapt viewers is virtually guaranteed. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the role of character gender in prime time television health portrayals. A content analysis of 1,291 health-related storylines from three spring seasons (2004–2006) of the ten most popular American television programs measured the frequency of male and female characters in prominent roles and how storylines differed with the sex of the ill or injured character. Our analyses revealed a significantly greater number of male characters. Moreover, storylines with a male ill or injured character were more serious in tone, more likely to take place in a medical setting, and had higher educational value. Proportionally, there were some similarities in storylines across the sexes, however, the absolute differences are striking and may have unfortunate effects on viewers. KeywordsContent analysis-Sex roles-Health storylines-Television-Gender
    Sex Roles 06/2010; 62(11):810-821. DOI:10.1007/s11199-009-9654-0 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    • "There is a growing amount of communication literature on entertainment education (EE) (Bouman, 2002; Do & Kincaid, 2006; Singhal et al., 2004). EE is intentionally putting educational content about social issues into entertainment media (Backer, Dearing, Singhal & Valente, 2005; Do & Kincaid, 2006; Farr et al., 2005; Lopez-Pumarejo, 2007; Mohammed, 2001; Piotrow, Kincaid, Romin, Rinehart & Samson, 1997; Storey, Boulay, Karki, Heckert & Karmacharya, 1999; Vaughan & Rogers, 2000). "
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