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A neologism combining the two words ‘information’ and ‘entertainment’ to suggest the tendency for the content of news and current affairs programming to blend entertainment with information in order to make factual programmes more accessible and increase audience size and reach (Franklin, 1997: 4). Consequently, the term ‘infotainment’ appears routinely in discussions about the dumbing down debate, tabloidization and newszak. The Chief Executive of the ITC, for example, declared his disappointment and regret that ‘factual programming is on a downward path towards the triumph of infotainment above both information and entertainment’ (Glencross, 1994: 7–8), while American journalist James Fallows argues that ‘the most influential parts of the [US] media have lost sight of… the essence of real journalism … which is the search for information ...

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