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Factors associated with high media coverage of the HIV epidemic in Lesotho
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2010 (English)In: African Journal of AIDS Research, ISSN 1608-5906, E-ISSN 1727-9445, Vol. 9, no 3, 225-233 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Regional studies show that Lesotho outperforms other countries in southern Africa in terms of awarding coverage to HIV and AIDS. Through qualitative interviews, this study examines the motivations, experiences, and perceived challenges among media workers, which could explain the high coverage. While a high level of personal commitment seems to be the outcome of interrelated factors — such as media workers’ personal experience of the country’s high HIV prevalence and high mortality rate — Lesotho’s political leadership and various government initiatives, notably the unique ‘Know Your Status’ campaign, were singled out as a key factor behind the high coverage. Moreover, journalists and editors are often consciously exploiting the mass media’s potential agendasetting function in order to raise attention to HIV and AIDS. Although covering the HIV epidemic has become significantly easier in Lesotho because of government efforts, government and public officials are simultaneously identified as the main obstacle to more comprehensive coverage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 9, no 3, 225-233 p.
Keyword [en]
agenda-setting theory, developing world, HIV/AIDS, HIV prevention, journalism, mass media, public health, southern Africa
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-141080DOI: 10.2989/16085906.2010.530174ISI: 000289461800003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-141080DiVA: diva2:384956
Available from: 2011-01-10 Created: 2011-01-10 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Perilous Silences and Counterproductive Narratives Pertaining to HIV/AIDS in the Ugandan, Lesotho and Namibian Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perilous Silences and Counterproductive Narratives Pertaining to HIV/AIDS in the Ugandan, Lesotho and Namibian Press
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research on Western mainstream media’s framing of HIV/AIDS in the 1980’s, showed that media narratives influenced audiences’ understanding of the epidemic, as well as society’s responses. Subsequently, by analyzing a society’s mass media and its framing of HIV/AIDS, it is possible to explore what understandings are given preferential treatment in that society, as well as explore what social change those narratives indirectly or directly facilitate. Such an analysis is particularly important in Sub-Saharan Africa, the continent most affected by HIV/AIDS and which has struggled to reverse the course of the epidemic. This dissertation has in five separate articles, not only identified and described media narratives on HIV/AIDS and the closely related topic of same-sex sexuality in three countries hard-hit by the epidemic –Lesotho, Namibia and Uganda – but also discussed the potential effects of persistent silences, as well as narratives that are counterproductive to the countries’ ability to respond to their epidemics. The research uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches: content analysis of independent and government-controlled print media products, semi-structured interviews with media practitioners and representatives from organizations that seek to influence the media agenda, as well as analysis of legislative and policy documents.

The articles discuss a range of persistent silences and counterproductive narratives on HIV/AIDS in the three countries. Overall, the media is found to largely fail in providing its readers with narratives that contain many of the particular factors – economic, social, cultural, biological, as well as those related to stigma and discrimination –that fuel their epidemics. The research however also finds differences between the countries and the types of media. In particular privately-owned media is found to play important role in terms of acknowledging the existence of same-sex sexuality as well as relevance in relation to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services in Namibian and Ugandan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 87 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 71
Keyword
HIV/AIDS, mass media, homosexuality, Africa
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies; International Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-157234 (URN)978-91-554-8134-6 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2011-09-29, H2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsg 10, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-08-22 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved

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