Saturday, September 12, 2009

Message Ethics: Can You Be Too Entertaining with what you have to say? I've heard about the noise-to-signal ration. How about the fun-to-signal ratio?

2 comments:

Susan White said...

I’m not sure what you mean by “fun-to-signal ratio.” Are you saying the presence of fun in an article or book has the potential to drown out the writer’s original signal or message, and thus you need to keep a firm balance between the two?

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making your message entertaining or even humorous to your audience – it makes what you have to say a little more palatable, and sometimes more effective. I read somewhere that Jon Stewart is the most trusted “news source” in America. (Yes, I know this is sad.) While Jon himself would be the first to tell you he’s not a journalist, people are strongly affected by what he says, partly because it’s so damn funny (and partly because a lot of it is based in truth). Most journalists I know are incredibly sarcastic people – it crops up all the time in news editorials, feature stories, etc. Satire is often a good way to get people thinking. I don’t mind it at all, because it often sheds light on the absurdity of certain situations.

Chloe Schildhause said...

I agree with Susan, if a message is entertaining it keeps me attentive. I found this video and the subject of the book both entertaining and scary. I do think it's interesting to take a lightheaded approach to a hefty topic. This video makes me worry in the same paranoid way that the film Super Size Me made me worry about fast food. That movie was very entertaining, but also extremely disturbing and has caused my life a great deal of disturbance and stress. Just because something is entertaining does not mean it is playful or fun, it can cause psychological turmoil.