South Africa: Give Health News a Higher Profile
Mia Malan launched the first weekly health program at Soweto TV, the largest community TV station in Africa, with more than 1 million viewers. She trained a team to produce high-quality feature reports for the show with a special focus on HIV/AIDS. The half-hour show features topics such as the use and abuse of antiretroviral drugs, male circumcision, attention-deficit disorder and organ transplants.
In addition to the new half-hour weekly show, health stories on Soweto TV’s daily news reports have increased threefold as a result of Malan’s efforts. In the first half of her fellowship, she increased health stories fivefold at the influential Mail & Guardian, enabling the paper to attract a major advertiser for a weekly, four-page health section. The section continues to be successful long after Malan left for Soweto TV. Under her guidance, Mail & Guardian reporters produced more than 100 in-depth and investigative articles on issues such as national health insurance, maternal death, AIDS treatment and fetal-alcohol syndrome.