A journalism curriculum with a specific health focus will for the first time be available for students studying media and communication at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.
Internews Ethiopia developed the Reporting HIV/AIDS curriculum for the MA in Journalism and Communication, and the flexible format can be delivered either in the classroom or as a distance/online module.
Course content includes an examination of media approaches and responsibilities in reporting HIV and the portrayal of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and marginalized risk groups. It explores issues of cultural and social opposition, stigmatizing language and appropriate sources and resources, all in the Ethiopian context.
The new curriculum was launched by Dr Gebremedhin Simon, Dean of the Department of Journalism and Communication at Addis Ababa University. Speaking at the Sheraton Addis, Dr Gebremedhin said the curriculum will fill a gap in the university’s academic capacity, as graduate students have already been taking the initiative to explore HIV and related issues in their research.
‘This is a gift from Internews to Ethiopian media professionals, and I hope they will make the best out of this document. This curriculum should not be the last; I also hope we will work again in such a kind of collaboration with Internews Network, Ethiopia. I would like to thank Internews once again for making this curriculum a reality,’ said Dr Gebremedhin.
“Reporting HIV/AIDS will help sensitize students of journalism and communication to issues around reporting health and specifically HIV and AIDS,” said Internews Ethiopia Country Director, Sonya De Masi. “Understanding how to humanize HIV stories, and navigate the complex medical and social issues, will ultimately lead to more engaging, accurate and creative reporting when students become journalists or start working in the field of health communication.”
Internews in Ethiopia is a public health and HIV media development project funded by PEPFAR through USAID.