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Media and HIV/AIDS. Anso Thom, Health-e News Service, South Africa. Examples of coverage specifically related to gay and lesbian issues. “The new plague/leprosy: Homos in a panic”.

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media and hiv aids

Media and HIV/AIDS

Anso Thom, Health-e News Service, South Africa

slide6
Visitor: How did you get Aids?Patient: A “poefadder” bit mePuff adder= snakePoef=derogatory term for a gay man
extraordinary disease
Extraordinary disease

- Our response as the media

  • Responsibility/role of the media
  • Individual responsibility
  • Voice of the poor, vulnerable
  • Influence public debate, policy, public discourse
  • Need to challenge the wrongs
  • ‘War’ correspondent
criticism from civil society community groups
Criticism from civil society/community groups
  • Disproportionate vulnerability of vulnerable groups – little understanding
  • Result? Sensational, overly simplistic representation of issues
  • Link between human rights violations and HIV vulnerability - criminalisation
  • Fail to draw opinion from organisations working with vulnerable groups
  • Invisible group – stereotype
  • Sexual behaviour in prisons – moralistic undertones?
  • Lack of positive stories
marathon runner
Marathon runner
  • Baby steps
  • Follow-ups
  • Going back
  • Keeping the story alive – role of community organisations/civil society
  • Time to get to grips
  • Dedication
  • Not a job
approach at health e
Approach at Health-e
  • Deciding on a story – what triggers it?
          • Access
          • Role players
          • Affected parties
          • Sense of needing to get voices heard
          • Informing/educating the public
          • Injustice
          • Nobody else prepared to dedicated time and resources
health e
Health-e
  • Big focus = Service delivery in public sector
  • Asking specifically how vulnerable populations catered for
  • Shame that need a parallel service – are they getting such a service?
  • Prevention messaging as important as access to treatment – is it targeted?
  • Accountability
human dimension
Human dimension
  • Critical part
  • Complex
  • Our responsibility
  • Scoop mentality
  • Once-off story
  • Follow-up
  • Respect
  • Language
  • Confidentiality
photographs visuals
Photographs/Visuals
  • Understanding
  • Respect
  • Making the best decision for the subject
developing relationships
Developing relationships
  • Long term
  • Commitment
  • Dedicating time
  • Getting the story right
  • Responsibility of journalist operating within a complex environment/topic
  • Getting journalist to understand why they should care
  • Strong civil society
  • Checking facts
problem areas
Problem areas
  • Allowing the moralistic, dangerous voices to be heard
  • No pressure in terms of asking questions from researchers (research uncomfortable, complex)
  • Holding funders accountable
  • Laws don’t change people’s attitudes – Going the distance
  • Overwhelmed
developing relationships1
Developing relationships
  • Research – Releasing complex data which could reinforce prejudice
  • Packaging the information you share carefully
  • Always available
  • Painting the broader picture – impact on the broader community
  • Commitment to educate
  • SA vs rest of the continent – Possible avenues
  • Not lump all three vulnerable communities together
tapping into the media
Tapping into the media
  • Letters to the editor
  • Opinion pages
  • Electronic media especially radio
  • Web – using outside media to create consciousness around what happening in other countries
  • Newspapers – M&G
  • Good story will always be told
slide19

Health-e News Service

www.health-e.org.za

+27-21-6838099

editor@health-e.org.za