NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ Interviews Essence Editor-In-Chief on ‘Drumbeat Project’ AIDS Prevention Media Campaign
NPR's "All Things Considered" on Saturday included an interview with Essence Editor-In-Chief Diane Weathers about the "Drumbeat Project," a media campaign by a coalition of African-American print, broadcast and online media outlets aimed at increasing HIV/AIDS awareness within U.S. black communities (Inskeep, "All Things Considered," NPR, 1/25). The campaign, which is set to begin in February and have a total airtime and ad placement value of $5.7 million, 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 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 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/17). Weathers said that by participating in the campaign the magazine hopes to "bring more awareness" about HIV/AIDS to black women, who are the magazine's target audience and are "disproportionately" affected by the disease. "There's a lot of secrecy I think in our community. Sex is something you don't discuss for all sorts of reasons, but we want to discuss it and we want to talk about it very boldly and we don't want to be shy about it," Weathers said. One month of "blanket" media coverage has already made a difference in HIV/AIDS awareness, Weathers said, referencing an article published in the magazine's February issue detailing how HIV/AIDS has affected the lives of some citizens of Quincy, Fla. "We're getting quite a bit of response. It's generating quite a bit of controversy. The AIDS workers down there are saying that they've seen an outpouring of more support for the kind of work that they're doing. This was ... some real journalism that we are really proud of," Weathers said ("All Things Considered," NPR, 1/25). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.