Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gerard Paul Matthews
Infotainment, formally defined by Merriam-Webster's dictionary as “a television program that presents information (as news) in a manner intended to be entertaining,” is a neologism that refers to the blurring between information and entertainment in news and current affairs programming, whether it be in the selection of news stories (e.g., more emphasis on celebrity gossip, crime stories, and human interest pieces) or in their presentation (flashy graphics, sound effects, and sensationalism). The media environment in the United States and around the world has undergone dramatic changes since the late 1970s and early 1980s. Not only have technological innovations changed the way citizens consume various media, but the structure of the industry has changed as well. Growing conglomerations of media companies have led to a dramatic increase not only in the amount of information available but also in competition for audiences. Newspaper readership is down as is viewership of the major ...