Last week we talked about Sabido Methodology and how “Simplemente Maria” or “Simply Maria” was an impressive example of this methodology and how each episode of this soap opera from the 80’s showcased social issues and highlighted them. The Show was so popular even in countries as far as erstwhile Soviet Union, where I was studying at that time, that it was aired dubbed in Russian during prime time. In the transit and public places it was public’s favorite topic for starting conversation, share views and predictions about what will happen next?
Times have changed from the 80s and it will be difficult to expect or predict now that any soap opera will be as popular and effective in highlighting social vices on such a large-scale.
I always wondered about talk shows which appeared on TV, with expert’s views, discussions and recommendations on wide range of topics. I was skeptical about the utility of these talk shows and their effectiveness in bringing changes to quotidian problems faced by common man.I got my answers last year when i learnt about the impacts of chat show “Satyamev Jayate”.
Worldwide many celebrities from Angelina Jolie to Bono of U2 fame are supporting and bringing the media attention to global issues from environment to poverty to health. In India Aamir Khan is doing his bit in a different way.He is considered the Tom Hanks of “Bollywood” (Bollywood-Indian film industry, where roughly 900 movies are made per year, coming to Vancouver on 6th April for TOIFA awards night). Aamir Khan is known for doing things differently. He is among the top three Bollywood actors and three years ago he thought of entering the world of television. He is a social activist at heart and had been talking about environmental issues in the public. Aamir and his team took two years to do the research work and identified issues affecting common people. In May, 2012 with the support of Star Network in India, his chat show on social issues , titled “Satyamev Jayate” meaning Truth triumphs, was launched. The show was aired on Sundays morning at 11:00 and it was said that roads had remarkably less traffic as had happened before in India only during cricket matches between India and Pakistan. There are 1.24 billion (1,249,440,319) connections, 1.6 million followers on Facebook and 91.4 K followers on twitter for “Satyamev Jayate”. There are more than eight million (8,115,739) Community Members.Through this a total of 223,064,210 Indian rupees (more than 3 Million CAD) in donations, have been received for various organizations and NGOs working directly on these issues. In the first season 13 episodes were aired, each focusing on issues of national and global importance including water conservation, community based health Insurance (CBHI) , intimate partner violence (IPV),neoliberalism, medical negligence, and pesticides. The themes of 13 episodes were :
The Idea of India – Episode 13
Water – Episode 12
Old Age – Episode 11
Untouchability – Episode 10
Alcohol Abuse – Episode 9
Toxic Food – Episode 8
Domestic Violence – Episode 7
Persons With Disabilities – Episode 6
Intolerance To Love – Episode 5
Every Life Is Precious – Episode 4
Big Fat Indian Wedding – Episode 3
Child Sexual Abuse – Episode 2
Female feticide – Episode 1
Each episode is of around one hour duration. A summarizing episode on all the 13 episodes and their impacts on policies and society with English subtitles is available at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COrjitFiSXg&playnext=1&list=PL6AF7C1545DB4BA76&feature=results_video
All the 13 episodes with English subtitles are available at:
A few radical solutions for example live in relationship for senior citizens and heart surgeries for $1100 were brought to public attention that were hard to envisage in India few years back.
The impact of this chat show has been nationwide ranging from a national bill on child protection passed in the upper house of Indian parliament to cancellation of registration of doctors involved in female feticide. Few of the successful changes that happened in response to this chat shows are:
Show on the Disabled Jolts Govt into Action
March against female feticide
Unwanted womb removal: Registration of nine private doctors suspended
‘Satyameva Jayate’ inspires sarpanch to act against female foeticide
The URL of its website is www.satyamevjayate.in
Satyamev Jayate, which has struck the right chord with the audiences, has reportedly inspired a British talk show host Tim Sebastian. In case you don’t know who he is – Sebastian is the man behind popular talk show Hard Talk on BBC.
It’s hard to recall a television show from recent with so much impact on policies and social issues of a common man interest.The next season of Satyamev Jayate is planned post September this year.
Suzanne Vander Wekken
February 6, 2013
Do you ever find yourself thinking “this is just too much information”? Not in that it is information you find inappropriate or offensive, but that literally the volume of information is too much to process. Then you, my friend, are experiencing a phenomenon known as “infowhelm”.
Infowhelm is the experience of feeling overwhelmed with too much information. Infowhelm is both real, and increasingly prevalent. I’ve encountered it, and I’m sure many of you have had as well. Between the internet, hand-held mobile devices and screens around every corner, we are being exposed to hundreds of messages every day. As was communicated in a video we watched the first day of class entitled “Did You Know”, information channels are multiplying and information exponentiating all the time. I find this concept both fascinating and terrifying, and something worth thinking about more in context of this class on health communication.
We hear all the time that in order to be relevant and reach modern audiences we must consider how to communicate through social media platforms. Social media platforms have even bred their own lexicon with words such as “tweeting” “blogging” “facebooking” “blogosphere”. Words like “wall”, “feed”, “tab”, “status”, “menu”, “post”, “tweet”, and “share” bring to mind something entirely different now than they would have 20 years ago. Times have changed. (Check out this video that summarizes the rapid change in marketing).
On the topic of changing times, I recall how my grade school math teachers used to say to me “you need to learn this stuff because you won’t be able to carry a calculator around with you everywhere!!” Turns out their predictions were off. We do all carry calculators around with us in our mobile devices. Not only do we have calculators, but the majority of us actually have a small computer with connection to the World Wide Web that can answer our questions at any moment.
Can’t add? There’s a calculator app for that.
Can’t spell? Let Microsoft’s spell check do the work for you.
Can’t read? There will be a Podcast or Youtube or Tedx I can listen to
Can’t write? Improved voice recognition and transcription software means you won’t have to. My phone even has a “Google button” that I can press and speak to Google about my question.
Interestingly and ironically, as technology and media information expands, it seems that people can actually feasibly get by with fewer traditional literacy skills. In one of our second week’s reading, Kickbush (2001) points out that we are returning to our historical ways of preferring to communicate through oral and visual means. Suitably this means that the conventional literacy covered by the “3 R’s” are no longer sufficient and comprehensive for understanding information today (although arguably still very important). To be “literate” in our present society, a person needs to be capable of a broader skill set including quantitative, scientific, technological, cultural, media and computer literacy (p.292).
In line with this thinking I found group online called the 2ist Century Fluency Project (2013). Their vision is to move our focus beyond traditional literacy skills to 21st century skills that reflect the current times. They have developed a model of five main fluencies which operate in context of what they call a “global digital citizen”. The fluencies include:
2) Solution Fluency
3) Creativity Fluency
4) Media Fluency
5) Collaboration Fluency
For more information and some short videos on these fluencies click here.
So what is your experience with Infowhelm?
Have you encountered it? Do you think you might in the future? What about the people and populations you currently work with or plan on working with? Why might it be important to consider infowhelm in communicating with the public relating to health?
Please share your experiences, stories and thoughts … or not, if you are feeling overwhelmed by all this information ;).
The 21ST Century Fluency Project. (2013). Retrieved Feb 5, 2013 from, http://fluency21.com/. Kickbush, I. (2001). Health literacy: addressing the health and education divide. Health Promo Intern. 16(3). P.189-97.