14 Asia-Pac broadcasters join hands for AIDS awareness

 MUMBAI: Fourteen national broadcast companies across the Asia-Pacific region have decided to launch a co-production initiative to raise awareness about the global rish arising out of HIV/AIDS.

This would be done through the creation of media content under the aegis of the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok, it was announced today .

According to a media release, the initiative was organised through a cooperative arrangement involving the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (UNDP-APDIP), UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNDP Regional HIV Programme, MTV International and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

This innovative and timely partnership will produce a series of made-for-television programmes to raise awareness of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The participating broadcast-producers will create segments to be packaged together as a complete short-form programme that will be shared among all participating broadcasters to air in the different countries, the media release states.

The HIV/AIDS Reports will focus on the implications of the pandemic in the contributing producer’s home country with an emphasis on human and social dimension.

The programming will also be made available rights-free to all ABU member-broadcasters.

The ABU, an organisation of national broadcasters from countries across the region, coordinated the involvement of broadcasters including Bangladesh Television; China Central Television; Doordarshan TV (India); PT Surya Citra Televisi, Indonesia; PT Indosiar Visual Mandiri Tbk, Indonesia; Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Berhad (TV3); Nepal Television; Geo Independent Media Corporation, Pakistan; Media Niugini, Papua New Guinea; ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, Philippines; MediaCorp News, Singapore; EAP Networks (Pvt) Ltd - Swarnavahini (TV), Sri Lanka; National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (Channel 11) and Vietnam Television.

“The role of the media is very important in building understanding of HIV/AIDS prevention and to promote technology for the development of AIDS drugs,” according to Channel 11 (Thailand) journlaist Tepin Craivanich.

China Central Television International senior producer Xie Zheng said that HIV/AIDS prevention is not the sole responsibility of the government and health workers in China.

" Media has a role to play in preventing what could be a large disaster in the most populous country in the world,” he added.

ABU secretary-general David Astley felt that the implementation of this initiative reflects the organisation's commitment to pro-social initiatives and the commitment made while announcing participation in the Global Media AIDS Initiative at MIPTV last April.

“The participation of some of our largest and most influential broadcasters demonstrates the increasing awareness of the media of our role and responsibility in perpetuating health and developmental agendas,” he said.

“This initiative involving various UN agencies in partnership with 14 national broadcasters, multi-lateral organisations and the private sector is a clear demonstration of the collective need and urgent measures required to address this pandemic in the region. This is the first of many steps we hope to forge and encourage in the region.” Shahid Akhtar, Programme Coordinator, UNDP APDIP added.

The Kaiser Family Foundation is supporting the project by providing substantive expertise on HIV/AIDS and approaches to reporting on the disease.

Jackie Judd, a vice president at Kaiser, who led sessions during the meeting about reporting on HIV/AIDS, was quoted in the media release as saying, “The media is a great untapped resource in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This unique collaboration has the potential to reach millions of people in a part of the world confronting the tremendous consequences of this pandemic.”

MTV International is supporting the initiative by playing the role of executive producer, providing technical support to the participating producers and drawing on the achievement of its long-running Staying Alive campaign.

“This partnership is a key building block in encouraging and training broadcasters about raising awareness of HIV and AIDS,” said MTV Networks Bill Roedy.


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