Research of Infotainment in the Children's Segment of Television
The article examines the impact of the popular media trend of infotainment on the television segment designed for children. It was found that the issue can be considered in two variations. In a broader sense, infotainment in children's television products is synonymous with the phenomenon of edutainment. Examples of such programs are Sesame Street, Die Sendung mit der Maus, Clyde Frog Show, Doc McStuffins, Odd Squad, Zoboomafoo, etc. In a narrower sense, the impact of the concept of merging information and entertainment is manifested in the involvement of television programs for children infotainment techniques and signs from the adult segment of television, namely irony, guidelines for play, person centrism, and changes in thematic content. This is illustrated by examples of programs such as Jackanory, Newsround, Blue Peter, Horrible Histories, and others. It is stated that the content created with the borrowing of infotainment tools mostly has high ratings and long life on the air because it combines informational (and/or educational) and entertainment functions. The analysis found that the share of educational programs for children increases at the same time as the concept of merging information and entertainment appears on adult television. The article also proposes its definition of the phenomenon of infotainment on children's television. The practical part of the article presents the results of a survey of 29 experts in the field of pedagogy and psychology, 24 of whom are teachers and 5 – practicing psychologists. Based on the conducted research the table of signs of useful and harmful children's infotainment is formed. The characteristics of children's infotainment from the point of view of psychologists and teachers are also presented and the functions of multi-therapy of children's TV products created based on the concept of merging information and entertainment are highlighted. It is stated that infotainment is a necessary component in modern realities, but without proper evaluation by psychologists and teachers, children's TV content can become oversaturated with destructive elements, which will prevent the formation of a holistic psychological portrait of children. It is concluded that the impact of infotainment on the children's segment of television cannot be considered unambiguously positive or negative, because it depends on the specific context and intentions of media creators, so the concept of merging information and entertainment can serve as creativity in presenting useful and interesting information given the long-term effects on the worldview of young viewers.
Eleonora O. Tsurinaa1 *, Valentyna V. Kuryliakb2