Roel Lutkenhaus: The Entertainment-Education Strategy in the New Media Landscape

Roel Lutkenhaus | Center for Media & Health, Gouda. Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC) | Promoters:  Prof. dr Martine Bouman & Prof. dr Jeroen Jansz | April 2016 – April 2020 | lutkenhaus[at]eshcc.eur.nl

The Entertainment-Education Strategy in the New Media Landscape
Overarching project: MediaLab

The Entertainment-Education (EE) strategy uses popular media to engage with target audiences on health-related topics such as condom use, drug addiction, or hearing loss. Traditionally, health (communication) professionals have collaborated with creative professionals such as script writers, directors, or producers to develop effective and appealing EE interventions for radio and TV. However, the media landscape has saturated and the Internet has afforded target audiences to create and circulate content themselves. This offers opportunities to reach and engage with target audiences in new ways; for example by using interactive media formats, or by collaborating with bloggers, YouTubers or other social influencers.

This PhD-project will explore how EE professionals can optimally utilize the new media landscape’s dynamics in order to promote healthy lifestyles among vulnerable audiences. Building on Jenkins, Ford, and Green’s (2013) spreadable media paradigm, this project develops digital research methods to discover the most important online communities in the target audiences’ media repertoires; and measure and monitor how audiences consume, create and circulate health-related content. It also allows EE professionals to identify appropriate platforms, websites, and social influencers as potential collaboration partners. These new methods will be aligned with the most common processes and practices to develop EE interventions.

Ultimately, this project will help EE professionals to develop interventions from a multi-lens perspective, resulting in transmedia interventions that allow target audiences to engage with subject matter from radically different viewpoints. This project equips the field with innovative strategies and research methods to create spreadable Entertainment-Education.

Reference: Jenkins, Henry, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. Spreadable Media: Creating Value And Meaning In A Networked Culture. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2013.