Repeating Mistakes: Press Coverage of HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific

December 13, 2000

Background to the Abstract

HIV/AIDS came late to Papua New Guinea (PNG). Yet, despite the opportunity to learn from press coverage in other parts of the world, the press in PNG during the 1990s repeated the same trends and mistakes that occurred with coverage of HIV/AIDS in the Western press during the 1980s; initially a slow response in which certain groups were targeted as the main offenders and sufferers. This was followed by increased coverage after the recognition of possible HIV infection in the wider population. Finally, there was a gradual decrease in the number of news items on HIV/AIDS. This pattern also reflected what Downs (1972) described as the ‘issue-attention cycle’ - the rise, peak and decline of media interest in a well-established health issue.

It evaluates the unit’s effectiveness against the stated purposes and principles of a capstone experience, and concludes that the project can achieve the dual aims of enhancing disciplinary skills and developing broader transferable abilities.hirty universities in Australian teach Journalism and there are considerable differences in the structure, content, and delivery of tertiary journalism capstone units. This situation was identified by the author via an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) research grant (2012-2014). To address these gaps, the Fellow, though an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellowship (2015 – 2017), aimed to produce a series of agreed principles, standards, models and skills to inform the development of capstone units in various types of journalism studies (degrees and majors). The Fellowship involved interviews with 30 senior journalism academics at 18 universities across five States in Australia. The approach was to mine the knowledge and experiences of those actually teaching the discipline of journalism so as to formulate a set of agreed statements about what a graduate in journalism must know and be able to demonstrate. The statement of agreed standards, principles, models and skills was accepted by the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA).

About the Abstract Authors

Associate Professor Trevor Cullen, Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow (ALTF) is a national and international leader in the field of HIV/health Journalism and Journalism education. He has received several University and national teaching and research awards. These include two Australian Government awards – A National Teaching and Learning Fellowship (NTF) and the Australian Award for University Teaching. (AAUT).

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