Impact

Last Mile Media: A How-To Guide (Palgrave Macmillan)

This chapter describes several “rules of the road” for the creation and dissemination of last mile media campaigns. It explains core concepts and provides key strategies for both experienced professionals and those new to entertainment-education (EE). It highlights the importance of research, designing backward from distribution plans, the value of entertainment, and how to leverage commercial competition for scaling EE campaigns. The authors also draw from and briefly describe a variety of colorful case studies from their work, including creating Africa’s first TV science show, hacking a telenovela, using hip hop to deliver the news, and the creation of a solar-powered, motorcycle-mounted microcinema. By combining practical core principles of ethnographic field research with a creative media approach to campaign design, this engaging chapter is intended for both students and practitioners interested in how to reach marginalized communities in some of the most remote regions in the world with life-changing entertainment-education.

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The Game of Life: How Playing Gamified Interactive Narratives Affects Career Planning in Cambodia (International Journal of Communication)

To improve economic opportunity in Cambodia, we used social cognitive theory to develop gamified, interactive narratives using mobile phones. Participants guided their chosen character toward their “dream job” goal while encountering a series of barriers along the way. Participants (N = 1,625) were randomly assigned to one of four message frequency experimental conditions: a no-play control condition or playing the interactive narrative one, two, or five times. Compared with not playing the interactive narrative (control), those who played showed higher perceived self-efficacy, response efficacy, and behavioral intentions. Playing more times was associated with less attentional focus and enjoyment, but greater narrative understanding and behavioral intentions. These results support the promise of interactive technology using basic mobile phones for social and behavioral change. Moreover, this study addresses the important question of how much exposure to an intervention is necessary to affect change.

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Entertainment-Education Behind the Scenes: Case Studies for Theory and Practice (Palgrave Macmillan)

A new edited volume, Entertainment-Education Behind the Scenes: Case Studies for Theory and Practice, was just published by Palgrave Macmillan and includes many of the leading figures in the EE field. The book was co-edited by PVI’s Executive Director and the chapter “Last Mile Media: A How-To Guide” profiles several of PVI’s projects. As an Open Access book, it is available as a free download anywhere in the world.

Contributing authors:
Amy Henderson Riley, Anna Colquhoun, Arvind Singhal, Carlos Chirinos-Espin, Caty Borum Chattoo, Charlotte Lapansky, Donald Green, Drew Bernard, Erika Lynn Rosenthal, Gosia Lukomska, Helen Hua Wang, Jessica Wendorf Muhamad, Jessica Taylor Piotrowski, Joseph Cappella, Joyee Chatterjee, Kate Folb, Lauren Frank, LeeAnn Sangalang, Marisa Jahn, Martine Bouman, Melanie Green, Michael Cody, Miguel Sabido, Muk Yin Haung Nyoi, Negussie Teffera, Paul Falzone, Radharani Mitra, Ragini Pasricha, Rafael Obregon, Sally Gowland, Sarah Francis, Sebastián Cole, Sheila Murphy, Sonia Whitehead, Suruchi Sood, Van Sui Thawng, William Ryerson, & Yotam Ophir

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From the Studio to the Street: Cultivating Democratic Norms in Uganda (International Journal of Communication)

Communication interventions can make valuable contributions to the democratic development of citizens. This article reports on a nongovernmental organization’s (NGO’s) effort to leverage a television rap news program in Uganda to strengthen viewers’ democratic norms. Two different approaches addressing government failures and malfeasance are tested with an experiment conducted in six villages outside of Kampala. Results indicate that soft news segments can influence viewers’ perceived democratic norms and shape downstream behaviors as well. Beneficial effects were strongest when participants were exposed to stories that featured relatable citizens demonstrating desirable democratic attitudes and behaviors. Treatment effects were most pronounced among less politically sophisticated participants. Results suggest that media interventions are most likely to change perceived norms when they employ messages that depict individuals modeling the desired norms. Second, results show that entertainment news can be a genre used for communication interventions that employ theoretically grounded messages. These lessons are likely both transferable to interventions in other contexts.

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Digital Media – Transformations in Human Communication (Peter Lang International Academic Publishers)

The age of digital media has given rise to a new social world. It is a world in which the transmission of information from the few to the many is steadily being supplanted by the multi-directional flow of facts, lies, and ideas. It is a world in which hundreds of millions of people are voluntarily depositing large amounts of personal details in publicly accessible databases. It is a world in which interpersonal relationships are increasingly being conducted in the virtual sphere. Above all, this is a world that seems to be veering off in unpredictable ways from the trends of the immediate past. This book is a probing examination of that world, and of the changes that it has ushered into our lives.
In more than thirty essays by a wide range of scholars, this must-have second edition examines the impact of digital media in six areas – information, persuasion, community, gender and sexuality, surveillance and privacy, and cross-cultural communication – and offers an invaluable guide for students and scholars alike. With one exception, all essays are completely new or revised for this volume.

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Parallel Priming: Rap News and the Salience of Political Corruption in Uganda (International Journal of Communication)

Mediated public diplomacy campaigns are proliferating around the world. Governments are joined by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), terrorists, and others that seek to effect change on the international stage by speaking directly to global populations. As these initiatives spread, they also use new and creative communication tactics. This study contributes to the evolving public diplomacy literature in two key ways. First, it explores the design and effects of an NGO-led intervention that employs a novel message format—rap news—in Uganda. Second, it reports on the integration of priming theory and entertainment-education strategies into this intervention and its evaluation. Experimental results indicate that priming via rap news can be effective—but that the precise results are difficult to control.

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Entertainment-Education in a Saturated Media Environment: The Enduring Effects of an Ebola Puppet Safety Announcement (International Communication Association)

Entertainment Education (EE) campaigns – long a staple of development communication – must now fight to gain attention in competitive media environments around the world. Many different avenues are available today for message distribution and targeted audience members often have access to at least rudimentary mobile phones that can be incorporated into campaigns. In this paper, we report on the design and evaluation of a novel video message created to disseminate Ebola safety information in Uganda. Our experimental evaluation indicates that the exposure to the message increased subjects’ knowledge about Ebola safety and that this knowledge gain persisted until a follow-up phone survey. In addition to confirming the utility of the treatment message, this study illustrates the possibility of conducting fairly sophisticated evaluation research quickly and affordably, on the ground in a major African city.

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