Reporting on children

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The media shapes public attitudes and actions towards children affected by HIV and AIDS. This makes it important for journalists and editors to be conscious of the perspectives and judgements that are implicit in their reporting. This resource provides reference information to assist journalists in reporting on children in the context of HIV and AIDS.

Part 1. Presents recent research and thinking around the ways in which children are affected by HIV and AIDS, including being orphaned. Part 2. Outlines some of the key issues in responding to children affected by HIV and AIDS, including clinical interventions, (such as prevention of mother-to-child transmission and antiretroviral treatment), and social support for affected communities. Part 3. Presents some misleading messages that the media perpetuates in its coverage. It challenges journalists to contextualise stories and to not compromise children's well being through stereotyping. Part 4. Provides journalists with five guiding principles for reporting on children and HIV, including issues of confidentiality and children's right to participate in matters that concern them. Part 5. Provides a detailed resource list, including organisations that conduct research into children affected by the epidemic, those which can provide up-to-date statistics, and organisations that work directly with children and their families.

Part 6. Provides a list of sources used in this resource, and numbered in the text using superscript. It also provides a list of media monitored during the research.

Wits Journalism Anova Health

The project is jointly managed by the Anova Health Institute and the Journalism and Media Studies Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, and supported by the Health Communication Partnership based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Centre for Communication Programmes and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief through the United States Agency for International Development under terms of Award No. JH/HESA-02-05.