Complex science, controversial politics, competing claims and life-or-death stakes make HIV/AIDS one of the toughest beats for a journalist to cover. From San Francisco to South Africa, scientific facts and fringe theories compete for reporters'--and the public's--attention. Reporters strive for balance, but is balance always appropriate when the evidence backs one side? And how does a reporter know when an idea has scientific merit, and when it doesn't? What about when the science is truly murky? Irresponsible reporting affects policy and affects lives, but so does insufficient reporting. How do journalists get the important story of HIV/AIDS told when their editors, publishers, or readers are too busy, too uncomfortable, or too apathetic?
The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research (FCHR), and the International AIDS Society are sponsoring a pre-meeting symposium at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto. HIVMA Chair Dan Kuritzkes, MD, director of AIDS research at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital and member of the FCHR Executive Committee, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laurie Garrett will moderate the session (details below) that will offer the perspective of scientists, reporters, activists, and editors on how to provide balanced coverage about controversial issues in HIV science and medicine. For more information about the conference, please visit the IAS conference website.
When: Sunday, August 13, 10:15 am to 12:15 pm
Where: Session Room 2
Who: Co-moderators: Laurie Garrett, Council on Foreign Relations
Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, Harvard University
Panelists: Marilyn Chase, The Wall Street Journal
Kim Honey, Toronto Star
John Moore, PhD, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Nathan Geffen, Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa