Black Media Task Force on AIDS Launches AIDS Prevention ‘Media Mobilization’ Campaign
A coalition of African-American print, broadcast and online media outlets yesterday launched a "massive" campaign aimed at increasing HIV/AIDS awareness within the United States' black communities, the Long Island Newsday reports. The "Drumbeat Project" campaign -- the "first of its kind" -- will include feature stories on AIDS in nine leading magazines; an eight-part series covering topics such as vaccines, testing, men who have sex with men, treatment and AIDS in prisons that will appear in 200 newspapers; HIV/AIDS public service advertisements on the American Urban Radio Network; television programs on the Black Entertainment Network; and a Web site, www.blackaids.org. The project will begin in February -- Black History Month -- and will have a total airtime and ad placement value of $5.7 million, Newsday reports (Jacobson, Long Island Newsday, 1/17). The project is sponsored by the Black Media Task Force on AIDS, in association with the Black AIDS Institute, formerly the African American AIDS Policy and Training Institute. Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, said, "More and more, the face of HIV/AIDS is black. If we don't fight back, we'll lose a generation. Everyone who reads or watches or logs on to African-American media needs to know abut AIDS, AIDS treatment and AIDS prevention. Thanks to some far-sighted media executives, they're going to." The media outlets involved in the collaboration include Essence, Heart and Soul, Honey, Savoy, Vibe, Arise, Crisis, Upscale, Venus, American Urban Radio Networks, National Newspaper Publishers Association, National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters, Africana.com, BlackPlanet.com, BlackWorldToday.com and Black Entertainment Television (Black AIDS Institute release, 1/16). Jerry Lopes, president of program operations and affiliates at the American Urban Radio Network, said Drumbeat is "designed for 100% penetration of the African-American market." Essence Editor-In-Chief Diane Weathers said, "We're talking frankly about sex in ways we haven't previously," adding, "We're bringing the discourse out of the closet" (Long Island Newsday, 1/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.