Written by Dr. Johanna Blakley, Assistant Director of the Norman Lear Center, this research report argues that the study of entertainment is an excellent focal point for an analysis of the movement of ideas and transformations of culture on a global scale. It presents a brief history of the treatment of global entertainment in the academy and proposes a rubric for inquiry.
The Norman Lear Center and the Tribeca Film Festival hosted a panel discussion including Jacki Lyden, host and correspondent for National Public Radio; Neil MacFarquhar, Cairo Bureau Chief for the New York Times; producer Kevin Misher, Jehane Noujaim, photographer and filmmaker; Keith Reinhard, chairman of DDB Worldwide; Mariam Shahin, contributor to the London-based monthly The Middle East and a producer of ABC’s Nightline, Good Morning America, and World News Tonight; Jay Snyder, member of the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy; Phillip Strub, Special Assistant for Entertainment Media at the Department of Defense.
The Norman Lear Center and Population Communication International received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine how audiences in India process health-related messages in U.S.-produced television programs. One part of the CDC’s Global AIDS Program called MARCH (Modeling and Reinforcement to Combat AIDS) needed to know whether program planners could adapt programs produced elsewhere for health messaging or if the programs had to reflect the exact settings, customs, practices, and personalities of the target audience. This report uses qualitiative research methods to ascertain how TV audiences in India responded to health issues in an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful:
Everett M. Rogers. (2004) “Indian Audience Interpretations of Health-Related Content in The Bold and the Beautiful” Gazette Vol 66 (5) pp. 437-458. Read the abstract.
[Dis]similar readings: Indian and American audiences — interpretation of Friends
Written by Ketan S. Chitnis, Avinash Thombre, (Late) Everett M. Rogers, Arvind Singhal and Ami Sengupta, this article compares Indian and American audiences’ interpretation of the Hollywood sitcom Friends. The article is guided buy Olson’s narrative transparency theory, which posits transparency as ‘the capability of certain texts to seem familiar regardless of their origin, to seem a part of one’s own culture, even though they have been crafted elsewhere’. Thirty-seven regular viewers of Friends in India and 35 from the US were interviewed personally and in focus groups. Indian viewers questioned the truth-value of the content to conclude that Friends portrayed a universal American culture that is completely different from an Indian standpoint. These interpretation made the media text opaque, and the Indian audience members rejected the safe sex message discussed in the episode studied. The American audience found Friends overly exaggerated, but safe sex and sexuality messages as somewhat more cullturally proximate.
Chitnis, K., Thombre, A., Rogers, E.M., Singhal, A., & Sengupta, A. (in press). “[Dis]similar readings: Indian and American audiences? interpretation of Friends.” Gazette: The International Journal of Communication Studies
We Hate You, (But Please Send Us More ‘Baywatch’): The Impact of American Entertainment on the World
On December 5, 2002, the Writers Guild of America, west, presented this discussion on the surprising popularity of American entertainment in places where American politics are reviled. The rousing debate took place between Salam S. Al-Marayati, Los Angeles director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council; Tony Bui, writer/director, The Three Seasons; Alfonso Cuarón, director of Y Tu Mama Tambien; Norman Pattiz, chair of Westwood One; Aaron Sorkin, producer of The West Wing; Diane Watson, member of Congress; Bryce Zabel, chair of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; and Laura Ziskin, producer of Spiderman. The panel was moderated by Lear Center Director Martin Kaplan.
As the new digital-global epoch unfolds, the future of Southern California’s economy is uncertain. Dr. Michael Clough argues that the Southland’s place in the new order will ultimately depend on its ability to use its comparative advantages in creating popular entertainment and the rich cultural diversity of its population to build a knowledge-based, globally connected, high-tech regional economy. His paper, published in 2000, describes the emergence of the Hollywood filmed entertainment cluster; examines the ways in which the market for filmed entertainment is being globalized; analyzes the debate over runaway production; provides a brief survey of the changes in the media and entertainment industry due to mergers and convergence; looks at the impact of digitization on filmed entertainment, and examines the competition among metropolitan regions for leadership of the new digital-global economy.