DW-AKADEMIE and specialists from the GTZ and the East African Business Council on HIV/AIDS (EABC) are holding a three-week multimedia project for journalists from the East African Community.
30 years after HIV/AIDS was first identified, the issue remains a taboo subject in Africa and those infected are stigmatized. The media often fail to give the issue enough attention, partly because many journalists simply do not have the necessary expertise to report adequately on the immunodefficiency virus. Charles Musana is a participant in the DW-AKADEMIE workshop: “Our viewers are tired of hearing about HIV/AIDS. I’m hoping the training course will give me new ideas for more attractive formats because we cannot afford to ease up in our fight against this killer disease."
The workshop participants come from Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya, countries where the disease is particularly widespread. “Nowhere are the effects of HIV/AIDS more dramatic than in Eastern and Southern Africa,” says DW-AKADEMIE project manager Charles Achaye-Odong. “Not only do the families of the victims suffer. The effects of HIV/AIDS are so extensive that they have a negative impact on the region’s development opportunities." According to Achaye-Odong, the training course aims to create a network of media professionals in EAC member states.
A blog devoted to the issue of HIV/AIDS documents the contents and results of the workshop. The multi-media dossiers will be incorporated into the Web sites of the GTZ, DW-AKADEMIE and the East African Business Council on HIV/AIDS (EABC). In addition, all reports compiled during the workshop will be aired by the participants’ home broadcasters.