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NEWS : Local News  

Journalists Enforce Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Sierra Leone
By Aruna Turay & Bampia J Bundu
Dec 3, 2008, 17:18
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As the fight against the deadly disease, HIV/AIDS intensify world wide, a group of media practitioners known as HIV/AIDS Media Corps-Sierra Leone (HMC-SL) on Monday 1st December 2008, held a days media advocacy forum on HIV/AIDS at the Beacon Field Hall, Brookfields in Freetown.

According to HMC SL president, Richard B Bockarie, their organization, comprising a group of vocational journalists has decided to embrace the fight against the deadly disease. "This forum is to bring practitioners together to deliberate on the leadership role of the media in the fight to hush the spread of the disease in the country," he said.

The president iterated that as journalists they should serve as the voice of the voiceless by representing the interest of the public.

In her statement, HMC-SL coordinator, Ms. Rachael Horner informed that their organizations objective is bordered on the promotion of the fight against HIV/AIDS through media advocacy and sensitization of the general public. She said since its formation in 2006, it has displayed special interest in undertaking HIV/AIDS related research on materials for the publication of HIV and AIDS articles bordering on various subjects like stigmatization and discrimination, children orphaned by Aids, the role of the media in the fight and the need for government and private sector support to people living with HIV/AIDS.

"One of such endeavours HMS-SL has undertaken is the assembly of a media guide book on HIV/AIDS which has been submitted to the National Aids Secretariat," she said, adding that the hand book is geared towards alerting journalists on the guidelines, ethics and principals on HIV/AIDS reportage.

She disclosed that her organization hoped to soon embark on a monthly publication of the first exclusive news journal on HIV AIDS called Aids update. She therefore called on other media practitioners to come together and publish on newspaper, magazines, TV and radio programme real stories of the pandemic.


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