Zimbabwean journalists will today participate in panel discussion to reflect on the outcomes of the just ended XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012).
Journalists who attended the conference from Zimbabwe and will participate in the conference include Masimba Biriwasha of the iZimbabwe.co.zw, Roselyne Sachiti of The Herald and Robert Mukondiwa of H-Metro. The moderator will be Evince Mugambate, also a media practitioner in Zimbabwe.
Sizani Weza, media specialist with the US Embassy’s Public Affairs Section in Harare, said the media plays a crucial role in framing how society understands and prioritises the epidemic.
“In particular, its coverage can both increase understanding and support for people who are infected or affected, or perpetuate ignorance, stigma and discrimination,” Weza said.
He added that both traditional and newer forms of media have been crucial in the responses to HIV and AIDS and there is a need for better analysis and understanding of how to influence their impact.
The panel will bring together some of Zimbabwe’s finest journalists who covered the recent International AIDS Conference in the US. The journalists will share their experiences of the conference and give insights on some of the issues that could enhance the media’s role in the HIV and AIDS response.
AIDS 2012 was held between 22 to 27 July 22 in Washington, D.C. Thousands of scientists, policy makers, health workers, and people affected by HIV gathered to examine where the world stands in its response to AIDS and consider how to collectively chart the way forward.
AIDS 2012 provided a forum for individuals from Zimbabwe and nearly every other country to share their stories of success as well as the current challenges they face.