Population News Strategy Educates US Public on Population Issues


Population Media Center pic

Population Media Center
Image: populationmedia.org

The founder of multiple international and domestic organizations advocating global health and wellness, William “Bill” Ryerson is well-versed in complex social issues such as reproductive health, human rights, and migration (immigration and emigration). Bill Ryerson also serves as the founder of the Population Media Center (PMC), which utilizes entertainment-education to improve health and wellness worldwide. Its initiatives includes the Population News Strategy.

PMC launched Population News Strategy in September 2008 as a means of educating the American public on a range of domestic and international population challenges. The program explores national issues regarding population and its environmental impacts by prompting conversations on radio, TV talk shows, and distributed editorial columns. Furthermore, materials emphasize the importance of fostering a healthy dialogue about these issues in the US.

A selection of population authorities work in close collaboration with PMC to create content for the Population News Strategy. For instance, PMC collaborated with the Roper Poll in 2008 to conduct a national survey on population growth and national awareness. According to the results, young people between the ages of 18 and 24 possessed a better understanding of the effects of population growth on environments and resources than their elders.


The Sabido Methodology

Sabido Methodology pic

Sabido Methodology
Image: populationmedia.org

As the president of Population Media Center, Bill Ryerson supports a number of initiatives that encourage responsible family planning to help stabilize human populations at levels that are congruent with natural resources. Bill Ryerson is also an expert on various fields related to global demography including migration (emigration and immigration) dynamics, fertility, contraception and age-structure. His organization has produced a number of dramatic radio and television series that promote healthy behavior through relatable characters. Population Media Center creates these characters and the programs in which they appear using the Sabido methodology.

The roots of the Sabido methodology originate from the 1949 Shannon and Weaver model, which traces the circular nature of the communication process. Sabido applies this model to the serial drama. In a commercial soap opera, for example, the traditional communicator is the manufacturer of a product that communicates a message of buy this product to the receiver/consumer. When the consumer purchases the touted product, the soap opera will continue to receive ad revenue. Therefore, the circuit is completed.

Sabido goes on to complicate this circular model by considering communication among audience members. This two-step flow theory of communication states that media messages will have significant impact upon a relatively small group of receivers, who will then communicate an embedded message to others. In this way, audience members will often enter into discussions on important social issues in a manner that is similar to those of the on-air characters that inspired them.