UK media take advice on how to cover AIDS

By Elise Reed

Media specialists from Africa will be speaking at UK tomorrow morning on media in Zambia and AIDS coverage in African media.

The visit is part of a new partnership between UK’s School of Journalism and Telecommunications and the Zambia Institute of Mass Communication Educational Trust, a media training organization headquartered in Lusaka, Zambia.

ZAMCOM provides training for reporters in all media fields, but their partnership with UK will focus especially on the training they give regarding reporting on AIDS.

The partnership is through the American International Health Alliance, which aims to advance global health through volunteer-driven partnerships. As a part of this goal, the AIHA established an AIDS Twinning Center. The Center is also connected to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, according to Chike Anyaegbunam, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications.

The Twinning Center pairs institutions with the goal of strengthening both partners, according to official AIHA documents.

“It is a partnership amongst equals,” Anyaegbunam said. “Each partner has its own strengths. We learn from them, they learn from us.”

Anyaegbunam and Beth Barnes, director of the School of Journalism, traveled to Zambia in May to assess ZAMCOM and determine what kind of help UK will be able to provide the organization. For example, Anyaegbunam said that access to UK’s numerous academic resources could be beneficial to ZAMCOM.

While in Zambia, Anyaegbunam and Barnes also met with individuals at the University of Zambia. UK’s partnership with ZAMCOM could result in study abroad opportunities for UK students, said Anyaegbunam.

Anyaegbunam also stressed the importance of the partnership to UK’s internationalization effort. The relationship with ZAMCOM should raise awareness of UK’s role in what Anyaegbunam called “the global village.”

ZAMCOM director Daniel Nkalamo and AIDS and gender media specialist Mwiika Malindima will be speaking on campus at 9 a.m. tomorrow. The presentation will focus on media in Zambia and ZAMCOM’s efforts to train journalists across southern Africa to better cover AIDS stories.

In addition, Anyaegbunam said the speakers will explain more about their organization, its mission, and its new partnership with the university.

The presentation will be held in the Boone Center, at 510 Rose St. A continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. will precede the presentation. The event is by invitation only.