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Getting the message across : the mass media and the response to AIDS

December 2005

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The mass media have the potential to provide a platform for discussion, communication and education on HIV and AIDS, giving a voice to people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA), challenging stigma and discrimination, lobbying policy makers and building partnerships and capacity through sharing and transferring skills and expertise. However, mass media can also disseminate misleading messages, while HIV/AIDS communication competes with other topics for broadcasting time and audiences. This report presents three case studies of effective and creative use of the media in South Africa: Soul City and Soul Buddyz adopt an 'edutainment' approach, aiming both to educate and entertain; the Community Health Media Trust produces a series of programmes addressing issues concerning people with HIV/AIDS; Takalani makes television and radio programmes, to encourage small children to develop self-esteem, offer positive models and destigmatise PLWHA. Detailing the lessons learned from these experiences, the report looks at how target audiences are chosen, how partnerships are formed, how topics and ideas are developed and what ethical issues arise

Reporting AIDS : an analysis of media environments in southern Africa


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This report shares the combined findings of five studies carried out by the Panos London AIDS Programme with the support of Johns Hopkins University. The studies took place in Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe: countries that, while having high HIV prevalence in common, provide diverse contexts in terms of their media environment, governance, culture and national response to HIV/AIDS. The studies explore some of the issues and tensions involved in the relationship between the media and HIV/AIDS, aiming to identify how the media could better fulfil a potential role in responding to the epidemic, for example by 'moving beyond awareness-raising' and acting as a channel to encourage individual and social change, providing a forum for debate and holding decision-makers to account

Opportunities to scale up participatory approaches with youth and media


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This paper discusses five key concepts that form part of a participatory approach: communication, participation, networking, diversity and association, and how they relate. It also considers approaches to scale, provides case studies from around the world, and offers some lessons and principles. It would be useful to anyone interested in sustainable solutions to development


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