Media’s Role in Global Development

-An interesting theory that Waisbord mentions in “Family Tree of Theories” is that of entertainment education. While I agree that this kind of communication can be useful in reaching audiences on a more personal and culturally-sensitive level, I’m still a bit apprehensive about how we can really measure the effectiveness of such entertainment education campaigns. How can you definitively attribute the success of a development project in a country to an entertainment education program without acknowledging that there may have been other communication methods used that contributed as much or even more to that campaign’s success? Are things like movies, music, and radio programs more successful and useful in the long-term in comparison to other development communication techniques?

-After reading the “China in Africa” report, I have more of a general comment rather than a question. I noticed that much of the report just referred to “Africa” or the “African continent.” Other than a few instances when specific countries were mentioned briefly, such as Ghana and Guinea, the report seemed to lump the whole African continent and it’s different countries, cultures, languages, tribes, histories, governments, economies, etc. together. I think this is just another example of the Western approach to studying anything having to do with that region of the world. Cultures, peoples, and individual countries are ignored in favor of lumping Africa together as if it were one big country. Generally speaking, how can this be changed so that the individuality of countries and cultures in Africa are respected when we communicate about and to them in the Western world?

-Khiun’s article on “Communicating Health in East Asian Television Dramas” provided very interesting examples of how media, particularly TV in this case, could be used not only as entertainment but as a tool for educating the public, as well. I think this tied in very well with Waisbord’s discussion of entertainment education in “Family Tree of Theories.” What I found most interesting was that this kind of entertainment, at least in the way Khiun discussed it, seems to be ubiquitous through northeast Asia. Could the same be said about Western media, in general, and American media, in particular? Especially in regards to things like violence in movies and television, do you think the American media has become better at addressing these issues in a more responsible manner?

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One thought on “Media’s Role in Global Development

  1. Though the continent is large, there are some commonalities that the workshop decided to target. A country by country approach would equally yield a greater analysis as you suggest.

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