Media and HIV/AIDS
Independent-on-Line, 20 October 2002, 'HIV/Aids issues underreported in media'

The scanty media coverage of HIV and Aids in the absence of controversy is a failure of responsibility to the public.

Government spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe said this during a panel discussion in Johannesburg to mark Media Freedom Day, according to the SABC.

"There's very little reporting in the media about HIV and Aids, which means we are failing in our public responsibility, and perhaps it reflects a mindset that we report intensely on HIV and Aids only when there's a controversy. My argument is that this is also in the national interest," he said on Saturday.

Two panel discussions on media issues were organised by the SA National Editors' Forum, the Sowetan and Wits University's Graduate Journalism programme to mark the 25th anniversary of the banning of the black newspapers, The World and Weekend World, on October 19 1977.

To remember the bannings, government officials taking part in the panel discussion debated whether the media should serve the national or the public interest. - Sapa