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Category: HIV and AIDS [REMOVE]

The Star protects rape victim’s identity but doesn’t explore ‘HIV cure’ myth

The media plays a valuable role in informing the public about HIV and AIDS. Understanding and unpacking the myths commonly associated with HIV is also an important aspect of ensuring that the media reports accurately about the disease; an opportunity that The Star failed to exhaustively explore. While the article missed the opportunity to extensively dispel the myth that raping a virgin, a child or an HIV negative person will cure one of HIV, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) applauds The Star for protecting the identity of the child who was allegedly raped by his father with the belief that it will cure him of HIV.

Writing It Right: An Analysis of Zambian Media Coverage of Health Issues

How can media assist citizens with gaining knowledge of their rights, treatment and mechanisms for engaging with the health system to improve delivery and access? To find out check Media Monitoring Africa’s research on how the Zambian media covered health issues.

Editorial Guidelines and Principles on Reporting on Children in the Media

Media Monitoring Africa launched a new set of Editorial Guidelines and Principles on Reporting on Children in the Media on 19 October 2011 which also saw the commemoration of Black Wednesday and the 15th birthday celebrations for the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF).

Orphans identified by SABC, The Times and The New Age.

Three orphans living in a scrapped car were directly identified and interviewed when it was clearly not in their best interests, in reports by the SABC, The Times and The New Age.

January 2011: The month of multiple Children’s Rights Violations by SA Print Media

During the week 17th - 21st there were so many articles deserving of a MAD that MMA felt compelled to write MEGA MAD - citing articles in The Citizen, Daily Sun, Mail & Guardian, The New Age, Sowetan and The Star  for violating children’s rights.

This analysis has been endorsed by Childline and the Centre for Child Law

Protect children’s best interests when prominent figures pay them a visit

An article published in The Star, “Princess takes a bow at care centre” (22/06/2010, p. 3) about Japanese Princess Takamado’s visit to the St. Francis Care, has given Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) reason to be mad.  It reported on a Japanese Princess’s visit to a care centre in Boksburg, which cares for adults and children affected by HIV/AIDS. A picture and name of a child interacting with the princess were provided, together with the names of two children at the centre.

A refreshing look at love in the time of HIV

In a time when reporting on HIV and AIDS is in desperate need of fresh angles to avoid fatigue of the subject, it is exciting to come across an article once in a while that reports on the matter with an amazing human element. One such article was “Love in the time of HIV,” City Press (21/02/2010, p. 25) which was nominated for a MAD OAT Glad for reporting on the challenges HIV-positive teenagers face when they reach puberty.

Ethical issues raised by reporting on children affected by HIV and AIDS


The article published in The Star by Health-e News Service, “Without ARVs life looks bleak for HIV/AIDS patients” (31/08/2009, p.8), and the accompanying photograph provided by The Star, received a MAD OAT Mad nomination. The article identified two children living with HIV and The Star provided a picture of one of them. Although the article is commended for investigating and raising awareness around drug shortages in the Free State and the effects this has had on HIV-positive patients, this was overshadowed by the identification of two children as being HIV-positive.

“No big deal” Poverty, Service Delivery and Election Coverage: Election Report for week ending 3 Apr

This week MMA looks at key topics of elections stories. The results of the topics of elections coverage present a number of issues to discuss. For this report however, we will build on the prior week’s report “Is the media campaigning for the ANC and COPE?”, and focus on the level of attention devoted to the topics of manifestos, campaigning, poverty and service delivery.

This report addresses the results of media monitoring conducted from 13/03/09 until 01/04/2009. According to the monitoring results, it would appear that media consider simplistic coverage of campaign activities and political conflict to be more important than engaging parties and the public over the content of party manifestos, and how parties believe such major issues as poverty and service delivery should and can be addressed.

Guinea pigs and the frantic search for the AIDS vaccine gel

The coverage of Microbicide trails in 2007 the following findings showed the following patterns:

  • The stories were afforded significant prominence in some of the newspapers monitored.
  • Just over a quarter of the content items dramatised the issues.  This included using phrases such as “frantic search”, describing the volunteers as “desperate” or “pleading”, the use of exclamation marks, different font sizes and capitals to emphasise controversy, and the use of unnamed sources who make allegations that are not substantiated in the items monitored;
  • Most content items analysed show a clear bias either in favour of the HIV and AIDS researchers, or against the researchers.
  • In contrast, the volunteers are treated ambivalently and even in a demeaning way in several content items.

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