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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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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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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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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