The most positive feature of the HIV/AIDS coverage during this period was that no story perpetuated stereotypes about people living with HIV/AIDS or about the virus itself. In addition there were no photos of people living with HIV/AIDS that broke confidentiality.
However, the most staggering aspect of the HIV/AIDS reporting was the complete absence of the voices of people affected by HIV/AIDS and the voices of people living with HIV/AIDS.
The absence of these critical voices was coupled with the habit of single sourcing. Nearly two out of three stories had only one source. Where stories warranted the inclusion of sources living with HIV/AIDS or those affected by HIV/AIDS, they were not there.
Fuelling the habit of single sourcing was the habit of giving event summaries, rather than full-bodied stories. A typical story about HIV/AIDS or that mentioned HIV/AIDS was a short summary of an event based on one source, giving no broader context and making no meaningful connections to relevant issues such as poverty and gender-based violence.
Research by the Media Institute of Southern Africa Swaziland (MISA-Swaziland)