Provocative commentaries on international issues, social development, and people and places by a veteran journalist
Stories from the Field Need Telling
Published on June 11, 2005 By Pranay Gupte In Health & Medicine
It's not that the subject of HIV/AIDS isn't covered by the media.

But the focus of stories is far too often on reports, and on gloomy news. What about stories from the field where nongovernmental organizations, in particular, work with constituencies such as AIDS orphans?

In recent months, I've had the opportunity to learn about some of these projects through the Association Francois-Xavier Bagnoud. I'm impressed by the sheer effort made by local field workers, most of whom are unheralded. They don't seek publicity. But the media should seek them out. They have powerful stories to tell.

on Jun 11, 2005
The majority of the groups working with these children are religious organizations and sadly many in the mainstream press are reluctant to report on things which may paint religious organizations, especially Christian ones, in a positive light. It just isn't poltically correct these days. They are quick to jump on anything negative, but very nonchalant about reporting positives.
Besides, it seems that it's the bad news that sells newpapers and gets television ratings.
on Jun 11, 2005
I don't want to be a stick-in-the-mud, but I think the broader issues concerning AIDS will NEVER be accurately reported, because to do so requires moral judgement. People don't have to catch AIDS. If everyone in the world made not getting AIDS a singular priority the spread of it would stop almost immediately.

I have a fairly close association with an AIDS clinic, and I am made aware of the fact that people choose to bring it home to their wives and husbands daily. This is, unquestionably, a moral issue. The press hates to end up on the moralist side of an issue, since their S.O.P. is not to villify the behaviors that create AIDS orphans.

They should be telling more stories about the good work that is being done. I think they don't do so because such stories deal with AIDS as 'injustice', when in reality the epidemic perpetutated by the same attitudes that prevail with drunk drivers and others who irresponsibly threaten innocents.