Archive for the ‘ Infotainment ’ Category

Ethiopian ‘Sesame Street’ teaches life-saving lessons

“Knowledge is key and the media is a tool to communicate those interesting messages”. This is the message promoted by Bruktawit Tigabu, the creator of the Ethiopian version of ‘Sesame Street’ which is bringing innovation on Ethiopian tv. What she wanted to achieve through early childhood education, was educating young children about issues affecting Ethiopia today.

The show is organizing in a way through which children do not even realizing they are learning something useful for their life, and education. As Tigabu says, “They’re just having fun, they’re just watching their favorite show but at the same time they’re learning about germs, they are learning about being truthful, they are learning about numbers and knowing their letters and getting ready for school.”(CNN)

They want to create a generation of children who are able to take care of themselves, and are aware of the issues of their country.”The key for development in our country is education and focus on our children, so if we have those two going together, we will have a better Ethiopia, better Africa and a better world,” she says. Just like the American version, the show uses puppets and animation to teach situation about sanitation, hygiene, the importance of culture, and honesty.

“Her work not only makes vital information about health dangers easy to grasp, but also empowers young Ethiopians, helping them rediscover themselves and their world”.(CNN)

The innovation of this program, is that its creators also try to reach those children who do not own a tv, by  either bringing the characters of the show around the country, or by creating books ,traveling road shows and community. Another major characteristic of the show is the fact that it is all in Amharic, their national language. By doing so, the show reaches over 5 million viewers every week.

The show has been noticed by the international community as well, and has recieved several awards in the last few years including the “Next Generation Prize” at the Prix Jeunesse International, which honors innovative children’s TV programs.

“That’s why we want to invest in a young mind, in children with quality education as much as possible and motivate young people to serve humanity with the best knowledge they have and equip them with that knowledge so that they can be empowered to take action in everyday struggles.”

Valeria Ciancia

Journalists like jokes too.

Who ever said that politics and the news had to be boring?

The White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner was borderline comedy show this year.  There was no lack of jokes about Obama’s birth certificate or Donald Trump, 2012 Presidential candidate…and owner of the Ms. USA Pageant.

President Obama cracked jokes about himself and many guests, particularly Donald Trump. The audience laughed the whole time (with the exception of Donald Trump, of course).  Seth Meyers’ jokes followed. He made fun of everyone, sometimes brutally. While funny, each speaker made good, valid points. Luckily, most subjects of the jokes had a good sense of humor.

The speeches are a good example of infotainment — mixing facts with entertainment. Many important issues were mentioned, and it definitely drew an audience! Each speaker also ended mentioning the importance of journalism. Journalists keep people, Seth Meyers included, up to date with world events. Journalism keeps the government in check by following up on issues, such as wars and natural disasters.

Meeting expectations, ABC News covered the dinner in detail, and various networks definitely followed up on some of the issues brought up…particularly concerning Trump. You can see the full speeches on at

The Royal Wedding

The world watched Prince William and Kate Middleton say “I will” at the alter in  yesterday morning. A couple of hours later we saw them kiss not once, but twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. We are calling the event “the wedding of the century.”

I watched the live online streaming ABC News and BBC broadcast all morning, waiting to see what would come next. While intently watching all of the pomp and circumstance accompanying the event in London, I was also updated every few minutes by the twitter news feed embedded in the BBC site. Reporters kept track of the future Highnesses’ every movement and countless tid-bits and opinions about the day.

Royal Wedding news coverage dominated the top news stories throughout the day in the UK, France, Australia and the United States. had an entire page dedicated to Royal Wedding coverage.

I think this event clearly shows today’s media focus on infotainment. The royal wedding was entertaining and news, and viewers loved the story. The event also displayed the use of new media today. Millions tuned in to the wedding on tv, but also kept up-do-date with online streaming and twitter updates.

Minetti and Berlusconi become a cartoon in Taiwan

Next Media Animation (NMA) News, based in Taiwan, is a company specialized in the creation of animated shorts about public personalities and current affairs.

The animated shorts have gotten hugely popular across the globe over the last year. Most known “victims” have been Tiger Woods, Justin Bieber, but also Obama, Al Gore, and finally, Silvio Berlusconi.

This is how NMA sees the scandal of Italian prime minister’ s bunga bunga.

more animated shorts here:

posted by Francesca Gnali

Twitter, Lies and Videotapes in Indonesia

Twitter has served as a powerful instrument in the chain of uprising in the Arab World, Indonesia needs to be wary of the gripping, yet unverified, scandals involving politicians that have been popping-up on the micro-blogging site. Since the start of 2011, there have been at least three Twitter accounts disseminating such information.

The lastest account of note, @Fahri_Israel, specializes in sex scandals involving political actors. At the beginning of March the user posted two links to stomach-churning clips allegedly featuring Anis Matta, a deputy House of Representatives speaker from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

This example shows, once again, how controversial the use of digital media can be. These ghost Twitter accounts could be easily treat as political infotainment, thus reducing the information to mere gossip. On the other hand, it is also important to remember that these tweets actually name individual politicians and public officials and the content of the posts is of a highly sensitive nature. As this implies political and legal repercussions, the claims made by these sketchy informers should not be discredited.

The dissemination of political rumors on Twitter in Indonesia shows how much the micro-blogging site has eveolved. As reflected in the change in its tagline from “What are we doing?” to “What is happening?”, it is clear that Twitter has transformed from a site that allows people to blog about their personal life to a platform that disseminates information for purposes ranging from commercial to political.

-Lara Bonalume-

more details and information here:

Wael Ghonim and Egypt’s New Age Revolution

Google’s marketing manager in the Middle East, Wael Ghonim, started a Facebook page where he exposed the violence of Egyptian police. This soon sparked protests around the country, all with the help of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. After the regime blocked the internet, the people started a ‘revolution’ which forced leader, Hosni Mubarak to resign. When asked about the Mubarak regime, Ghonim said,

“They don’t understand the social networking part but they underestimate the power of the people.”

It’s interesting to see how social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and even Youtube helped influence a people to change their country’s ways.

-posted by Denisa Duca

Sout Al Horeya-“The Voice of Freedom”

For almost a month the world has tuned in to the revolutionary action of the Egyptian people as they joined together to protest against the autocratic rule of then-president Hosni Mubarak. For some of us, this is our first time witnessing a revolution even if from the confines of our television and laptop screens. For us outsiders, this revolution is a culmination of far removed images and videos that may or may not stir up an emotional response. For the Egyptian people, living through the fear, anxiety and exhilaration of a revolution is a cause for celebration.

A group of Egyptian musicians have taken that celebration to the center of Cairo, in Tahrir Square, the backdrop to their music video for Sout Al Horeya “The Voice of Freedom”. Amir Eid, one of the vocalists and writers of the song says, “I think this is the song of the revolution. I am so proud that we made this song about our country with our people, and I hope we can make another one in the future.”

The music video was shot during the protests and violent struggles that occurred during the early stages of the revolution. As a current viral hit, the video communicates the real-life turmoil as it occurred within the streets of Cairo. By incorporating the reality of the protests, the music video not only offers a first person narration to the rest of the world but also displays the voice that has been renewed to the Egyptian people, one of strength, perseverance and of freedom.