Charles “Garth” Japhet wins 2009 Everett M. Rogers Award for Achievement in Entertainment Education

Dr. Charles “Garth” Japhet (pictured), the creator of Soul City, a large-scale, multimedia entertainment education program in Southern Africa, is the 2009 recipient of the Everett M. Rogers Award for Achievement in Entertainment Education.

On Sept. 23r Dr. Japhet will speak on the development of international entertainment education programming at the Everett M. Rogers Colloquium luncheon. That evening, he will be recognized as the fifth recipient of the annual award at Hollywood, Health & Society’s Sentinel for Health Awards ceremony at the Writers Guild of America, West in Los Angeles.

Hosted by the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the annual Rogers Award and Colloquium are given in memory of Everett M. Rogers, a former associate dean and the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Communication at the USC Annenberg School. The Rogers Award honors exceptional creativity in the practice of entertainment education and excellence in research on the use of entertainment to deliver pro-social messages aimed at improving the quality of life of audiences in the United States and abroad.

Trained as a physician, Dr. Japhet saw firsthand the health problems of mothers and children in South Africa and realized the limits of existing health information, education and communication programs. Upon learning how mass media and popular entertainment might be harnessed to reach more people with health information, Japhet helped found The Soul City Institute, a
dynamic and innovative health promotion and social change project, which developed a television serial of the same name. Supported by a comprehensive and ongoing multimedia campaign, the program now reaches some 35 million people in eight Southern African countries.

“His unique combination of medical training, creative use of mass media, and entrepreneurial spirit have set a powerful and compelling example for the world and blazed new trails for entertainment education programs worldwide,” says The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health past professor, Phyllis Piotrow.

Recipients of the Rogers Award are selected by a jury of prominent scholars in the field of health communication. Peter Clarke, former USC Annenberg dean who now holds a joint faculty appointment at USC Annenberg and the Keck School of Medicine at USC, chaired the selection committee.

The award will be presented to Dr. Japhet during the tenth annual Sentinel for Health Awards ceremony, which is hosted by Hollywood, Health & Society, a program of the USC Annenberg School’s Norman Lear Center, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The California Endowment, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Division of Transplantation. The Awards recognize exemplary achievements in television storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives. For more information about the Sentinel for Health Awards and the Hollywood, Health & Society, visit

The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center studying and shaping the impact of entertainment and media on society. From its base in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the Lear Center builds bridges between faculty who study aspects of entertainment, media and culture. Beyond campus, it bridges the gap between entertainment industry and academia, and between them and the public. For more information, visit