MTV Network International’s Roedy Hands Over GMAI Role to CEO of South Africa Broadcasting CorporationMTV Networks International President Bill Roedy on Friday at the United Nations in New York City handed over the chair of the Global Media AIDS Initiative Leadership Committee to Dali Mpofu, CEO of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, South Africa's Star/Independent Online reports (Lauria, Star/Independent Online, 12/4). GMAI was established in January 2004 at a media leaders meeting and conceived of and organized by UNAIDS and the Kaiser Family Foundation after a call-to-action by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for world media leaders to use communication resources to help address the HIV/AIDS pandemic (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/29). Mpofu will begin a two-year tenure in the new role. Roedy, who also is a UNAIDS special representative, over the last 18 months challenged media companies to adopt five pledges, including committing airtime to HIV prevention, producing cost-free and rights-free content, creating appropriate messages for local audiences, instituting a workplace HIV/AIDS policy and having an active partnership in the program (GMAI release, 12/1). Roedy said Mpofu would draw on Africa's experience of the pandemic to motivate broadcasters worldwide. He also said the continent has "the most to teach the rest of the world," about HIV/AIDS, adding that Mpofu "has been in the center of it, so leadership coming from Africa is particularly important, as it is the region that has been hardest hit" (Star/Independent Online, 12/4). Mpofu said he is "very honored to have been asked to take up leadership of the GMAI at this critical time in the global fight against HIV and AIDS" (GMAI release, 12/1).
African Broadcast Media Partnership Airs Continent-Wide HIV/AIDS Programming
The African Broadcast Media Partnership Against HIV/AIDS on Friday broadcasted a continent-wide public service announcement encouraging Africans to imagine an HIV-free generation. According to Mpofu, "It is the first time a single message was sent across an entire continent" (Star/Independent Online, 12/4). The public service announcements are the beginning of a five-year effort to significantly increase the amount of HIV/AIDS-related programming by African broadcasters. Under the initiative, African television and radio stations will devote at least 5% of airtime, or about one hour each day, to HIV/AIDS programming. In addition, local television and radio stations next year will receive training and technical assistance to integrate HIV/AIDS themes and messages in popular programs including soap operas, documentaries and sitcoms (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/4). "Broadcast media has played a critical role in building AIDS awareness across the continent, but we all agree that these efforts must be strengthened and better coordinated," ABMP Steering Committee Chair, Solly Mokoetle, who also is chief operating officer of the SABC, said, adding, "This initiative will encourage viewers and listeners, especially the young people who are at highest risk of infection, to adopt healthy lifestyles to reduce their HIV infection risk, and to challenge the stigma and discrimination that drive AIDS underground" (ABMP release, 11/30).