31.08.2010 -

Educating journalists as architects of democracy

UNESCO, in partnership with the Governance and AIDS Programme of Idasa (Idasa-GAP), is organizing a two-day meeting to launch a community of practice on innovations in journalism education. The meeting will be held on 2 and 3 September 2010 in Cape Town (South Africa).

Idasa-GAP envisages a collaborative approach with the community of practice over the next three years to use HIV and AIDS journalism as a way to focus on the broader question of the role of journalists in democracy building.


UNESCO has commissioned Idasa-GAP to develop criteria and tools to assess how HIV and AIDS are incorporated in current teaching and training modes at selected institutions in South Africa. This meeting will begin a broader conversation about approaches to teaching in general and key issues like HIV and AIDS in particular.


Since 2002 Idasa-GAP has been collecting evidence to demonstrate the effect of HIV and AIDS on state institutions, state budgets and the ability of people living with AIDS to participate freely and actively in political processes. Idasa-GAP has identified journalists and other communication practitioners from ten participating countries across Africa to develop tools that could strengthen a culture of collaborative HIV and AIDS problem-solving, involving state and non-state actors. In the next three years this project would consider the role of journalists, and government and civil society communicators in unlocking resources across communities to deal with the challenges of HIV and AIDS.


With the meeting in Cape Town, Idasa-GAP wants to establish a group of educators who can help reflect on the lessons learnt about HIV and AIDS reporting and on how that could be incorporated into current journalism training and teaching modes. The group includes <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=30593&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Potential Centres of Excellence in Journalism Education and Potential Centres of Reference</a> as identified by UNESCO. The Potential Centres of Excellence in South Africa will participate in the current Idasa-GAP/UNESCO collaboration to assess how HIV and AIDS feature in journalism education.

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