Word of the Day : October 24, 2011


noun in-foh-TAYN-munt


: television programming that presents information (such as news) in a way that is meant to be entertaining


"Presidential efforts to generate news of their policies compete with Americans' preferences for infotainment and soft news coverage of celebrities and scandal." -- From Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha and Jeffrey Peake's 2011 book Breaking Through the Noise: Presidential Leadership, Public Opinion, and the News Media

"Smith is maybe best known for having hosted the CBS morning infotainment show 'The Early Show' and its predecessor, 'CBS This Morning,' for 17 years." -- From an article by Lisa de Moraes in The Washington Post, July 12, 2011

Did You Know?

"Infotainment," a blend of "information" and "entertainment," first appeared in the early 1980s. Not everyone approves of "infotainment" and similar pieced-together, media-derived words (e.g., "infomercial" and "edutainment"), however. New York Times Magazine writer Joe Morgenstern referred to "infotainment" as "a plastic word, stuck together with show-biz epoxy." An editorialist for a New England newspaper called it "a nauseating word" that "has crept into the language without an invitation." Unfortunately for such detractors, the word continues to be used today. Not only that, but a new, distinct sense of the word is emerging. People in the automotive industry have recently begun using "infotainment" to refer to the state-of-the-art multimedia technologies (such as GPS systems and Internet radio) now available to drivers at the push of a button.

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