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

ABSTRACT 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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