Media as agenda setters : a study of the infected and affected living with HIV/Aids

Ngam, Theophilus Mamnkeli (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2007-03)

Assignment (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The media, in its ongoing task to inform and educate South Africans, seemingly set the agenda in such a way that depicts poor black African people as the only racial group that is affected and infected by HIV/Aids. Photographs of poor black Africans are also used to inform and educate the public about the pandemic. In short, the media has set an agenda that has given HIV/Aids a black African face: vulnerable, helpless and living in squalid conditions. The hypothesis of this research is that it is racial stereotyping of poor black Africans, and that it is perpetuated by the Daily Dispatch and other media. It is also important to note that the voices of the affected and infected are not prominent in news reports about the pandemic. Their stories are either told by the journalists themselves or someone else as a spokesperson. The media must begin to give space to the heroes and heroines who are affected and infected by the HIV/Aids pandemic to tell their stories in their own words. Qualitative content analysis of the Daily Dispatch from 1 to 31 December 2004 was conducted. News stories, photographs, headlines and captions were analysed. This analysis shows that the voices of the affected and infected are still lacking in news reports and that poor black African people are used as the only visuals in HIV/Aids news stories. This study recommends that more attention should be given to upholding and respecting the rights of the affected and infected by the disease. The media should also allow their voices to be heard, not through spokespeople, but from their own mouths.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Dit lyk of die media in sy voortgaande taak om Suid-Afrikaners in te lig en op te voed, die agenda op so ’n manier stel dat dit arm swart Afrikane as die enigste rassegroep voorstel wat deur MIV/Vigs geaffekteer en geïnfekteer word. Foto’s van arm swart Afrikane word ook gebruik om die publiek oor die pandemie in te lig en op te voed. In ’t kort, die media het ’n agenda gestel wat MIV/Vigs ’n swart, Afrika-gesig gee: een wat arm, ontvanklik en hulpeloos is, en wat in haglike toestande leef. Die hipotese van hierdie navorsing berus daarop dat dit rasse-stereotipiering is van arm swart Afrikane, en dat die Daily Dispatch en ander media dit perpetueer. Dit is ook belangrik om daarop te let dat die stemme van die geaffekteerde en geïnfekteerde nie so prominent in nuusberige oor die pandemie is nie. Hul stories word vertel deur die joernaliste self, of iemand anders wat ’n segspersoon is. Die media moet begin om hierdie helde en heldinne wat deur die siekte geaffekteer en geïnfekteer is, self hul storie te laat vertel, in hul eie woorde. Kwalitatiewe inhoudsanalise van die Daily Dispatch van 1 tot 31 Desember 2004 is uitgevoer. Nuusstories, foto’s, opskrifte en onderskrifte is geanaliseer. Hierdie analise toon dat die stemme van die geaffekteerde en geïnfekteerde steeds in ons nuusberigte ontbreek en dat arm swart Afrikane die enigste visuele onderwerpe in MIV-Vigs nuusstories is. Hierdie studie beveel aan dat meer aandag gegee moet word om die regte van die geaffekteerde en geïnfekteerde te bewaar en te respekteer. Die media moet ook toelaat dat diegene se stemme gehoor word, nie deur segspersone nie, maar uit hul eie monde.

ISISHWANKATHELOL: Kubonakala ngathi amajelo eendaba kwinzame zawo zokufundisa nokwazisa uluntu loMzantsi Afrika ngesifo sikaGawulayo neNtsholongwane yaso, abonakalisa abantu abaMnyama beli njengohlanga ekukuphela kwalo oluthi luchatshazelwe sesi sifo. Nkqu nemifanekiso ethi isetyenziswe kumabalili athetha ngesi sifo, yileyo yabantu abaMnyama abazimpula zikalujacu ezingathathi ntweni. Ngokufutshane amajelo eendaba anika isizwe umzobo osengqondweni othi, uGawulayo neNtsholongwane yakhe uchaphazela ze ubulale abantu abaMnyama abahluphekileyo nabaphila phantsi kweemeko zobugxwayiba. Kusenjalo olu hlalutyo lubonakalise ukuba amazwi abantu abanesifo sikaGawulayo nabo bachaphazelekayo awakho kupapasho lweendaba. Kwakhona iingxelo ngesi sifo zinika ingqwasela kubantu abaMnyama abahluphekileyo neminifanekiso yabo kuphela. Akukho nto ithethekayo ngezinye intlanga. Okokuqala, olu phando ngoko ke lucebisa ukuba makuhlonitshwe umGaqo Siseko weli ngokubhekiselele kumalungelo abantu ingakubi abo banesifo sikaGawulayo neNtsholongwane yaso. Okwesibini, amajelo eendaba mawaqinisekise ukuba abantu abagula sesi sifo nabo sibachaphazelayo bayazithethela ngemilomo yabo kuba ngabo abajamelene neentlungu umhla nezolo.

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