AIDS and journalism. The media's response.


One of the round-table sessions at the 10th International Conference on AIDS in Yokohama, Japan, August 7-12, 1994, was entitled AIDS and Journalism and was conducted by a panel of 3 journalists. The early chapters of AIDS journalism were marked by willful media neglect of the emerging epidemic, something which has continued in some parts of the world. But since then, most people in the world have received information on AIDS from the mass media. To grasp the epidemic one must understand not just the disease but the world it affects. Never before would it have been possible for a disease to go from being unknown anywhere to being felt everywhere within 15 years. The only thing that has spread faster is news about AIDS: information, ideas, and images. As the body responds to the virus, it can spur cells to action or quiet them down. As in the body, some news messages are sent in error, some seem to be at cross purposes, some are misinterpreted. All are part of a complex network that should, in principle, regulate itself but which, in practice, faced with the disease, may break down and fail to regulate itself. The messages sometimes come from reporters who are experts on the disease, more often from reporters assigned to AIDS among a number of stories. These writers have come to AIDS journalism by different roots and practice it in different ways.

Cite this paper

@article{Morton1994AIDSAJ, title={AIDS and journalism. The media's response.}, author={Oliver C Morton}, journal={Integration}, year={1994}, volume={42}, pages={18} }