Entertainment Education & The Power of a Story

Entertainment education is used all over the world to implement and design messages in the media that are used for the purpose of entertaining and educating. Some of the main reasons why entertainment education is used are to increase audience awareness of health issues, influence behaviour, and inform people of the risks that certain lifestyle choices can bring.

Stories have been utilized from the very beginning of human existence and they allow us to understand and view the world, as well as allowing us to share our personal experiences with people. Entertainment education in the media employs stories to get messages out.

There are many benefits to using entertainment education to get health messages out and these include:

  • Some audiences are difficult to reach and entertainment education is able to reach them through mediums such as television and movies. For example, teenagers are more likely to pay attention to information that is included in an episode of a show that they enjoy, compared to pamphlets about the same issue.
  • It is beneficial to both entertainment professionals as well as public health professionals to use entertainment education because entertainment professionals are able to include fascinating plots to their story lines and public health professionals are able to get their message out in the public.
  • It can be difficult to get an audience interested in a health topic, notify them on health issues, or even change their attitudes, but entertainment education is able to achieve this. In order to get correct messages out in the media, health organizations, like the CDC, give accurate health information to the entertainment professionals so that they can then use this information in their story lines.

An example of entertainment education in the media is a recent episode of Glee that looks at high school students having sex, abstinence, teenage pregnancy, as well as sexually transmitted infections. This episode emphasizes the importance of parents talking to their children about sex and how information is a very strong tool. The episode states that abstinence is not a realistic goal for students and that information is far more powerful. Thus, entertainment education is an important tool that is utilized often in media programs to get messages out to hard to reach audiences.

References

Entertainment Education. Retrieved from http://mediaimpact.org/entertainment-education/

Surround Health. (2012, December 14). Let’s talk about sex – Entertainment education and teen sex. Retrieved from http://surroundhealth.net/Topics/Education-and-Learning-approaches/Health-Communication/Articles/Let’s-Talk-About-Sex-–-Entertainment-Education-and.aspx

-Brendan v

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