The media throughout the world has been in the frontline in educating members of the public on important social issues ranging from politics, drugs, terrorism, and popular music to sports. The best of all is the fight against AIDS. AIDS is one of the diseases which is threatening the existence of humanity and therefore more initiatives are being developed to fight it. In addition to videos, movies, plays and advertisements in sports’ and entertainment channels, songs have been composed by some artistes to try and spread the message to among other people, the youth who are of high risk of contracting the disease.
These songs are played in the AM and FM radio stations throughout the world (Emad, 2006). This paper will discuss the representation of AIDS in songs which are played in our radio stations. It will also analyze its representations through advertisement on various entertainment and sporting channels such as MTV and VH1. It will finally analyze the importance the songs and advertisement channels have on the eradicating the disease. Songs about AIDS Social marketers have been trying to have more people get informed on the basic of HIV/AIDS.
Some of the countries have encouraged the use of such channels as MTV to spread the fight against the disease and where they have been successful, the prevalence rates have been low. In the recent past, more musicians have been dieing of AIDS and that is why some of their colleagues are trying to come up with songs to not only make their partners aware but also educate the public on the crisis. In the U. S, an organization- The Estate Project- which was launched some years back as an Aids awareness initiative is now getting popularly with it programs.
The main mission of this organization, just like other radio stations is to compile the musical works of artistes who have died of the disease and inform the public. It also aims to preserve the cultural legacy of the crisis (Emad, 2006). In the U. S for example, many artistes have composed songs to promote programs intended to fight the scourge. Examples of these songs are; ‘HIV blues’ by Kerry Stevens from the album ‘out in the country’ and ‘positive’ by Spears Jay from the album ‘family values’.
These and other songs contain messages on how to keep safe from the disease or remain health if you are infected. These songs especially those by well known artistes in the U. S and Europe can be very attractive to the youth. Likewise, the Federal government has also developed policies which require that all organizations including the media houses and musicians help it fight the pandemic. Some songs have specifically been composed to pass messages on the use of condoms. The condoms are considered one of the strategies that help in preventing people from having unsafe sex.
The songs when played in the radio stationed will help pass information to the young people who may not have access to the information elsewhere. ‘Sauti ya America’ is one of the radio stations broadcasting from the U. S to many of the African countries and it uses its superiority and quality of transmission to educate the Africans on the seriousness of the crisis and it also tries to provide suggestions on how the youth can stay health. Many of the young people in the world today and especially those in third world countries don’t have the accurate and correct information about AIDS.
In rural areas where the information on the diseases is limited, more youth are engaging in unprotected sex. Research has suggested that the youth can easily receive information on the disease through advertisements Advertisements Entertainment channels such as MTV has noticed that there is information deficiency in the society. Through its music shows featuring the best artistes not only in America but also in Europe, the entertainment channels aim at passing important social issues to its fans. The programs are then broadcasted to countries in Africa and Europe.
These programs are needed to develop the penchant for advocacy in the music industry with an objective of political and social motivation. The entertainment channels help the organizations fighting against AIDS to build some sort of cohesion between the facts about the disease and the myths that people believe concerning AIDS (Johnson, 2005). The whole process of representation in songs started in the late 1980s when AIDS in the U. S became a pandemic and the federal government decided to bring the issue of HIV/AIDS to a situation where people must decide and publicly accept the reality about the disease.
The songs and the advertisements stations had a role to play and the role at that point in time did not have sufficient knowledge to combat the spread of the disease. VHI for example allocates more of its resources such as time and money to educative materials and talk shows. It uses its extensive radio frequencies to reach and educate most of its fans on the facts about AIDS. VH1 has through its programs such as the ‘legend’ and ‘celeb’ shows, promoted the “kick out” campaign. The campaign had been founded by the Rogers family to help U.
S citizens change their lifestyles and accept the fact that people should abandon form sex still they are married. This program and others including its international channels in more than twenty countries are able to reach a wider population hence are in a position to convince and attract listeners. The amount of space and airtime which is being devoted to the fight against HIV/AIDS has increased in the recent past mainly because of the global concerns which are being addressed by our world leaders including the U. S president who has devoted most of the federal funds to fighting the scourge in third world countries.
Today, more often than not, you can see that the radio stations are covering the issue with a certain perspective not just for the matter of reporting. More and more radio stations are analyzing the issue for a positive point of view compared to the past when they only reported statistics (Johnson, 2005). FM and AM stations are now looking at issues such as preventing child-mother transmission, treatment, testing, orphans and vulnerable members of the society etc.
These are the real issues that affect the society; not just mentioning which of the artists is riding high in music, what did politicians say about the spread of AIDS in Texas, who pronounced what and such sort of things. Conclusion Entertainment channels such as MTV and VH1have the main players in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. The main aim of using such entertainment and music stations is to reach a majority of the youth who are mostly attracted to the music and programs in these stations.
Songs on its part has a role to play especially if they contain the messages which encourage people to protect themselves from the disease. The management of such institutions should therefore promote the culture of teaching members of the public on the dangers of contracting HIV/AIDS through their daily programs. References Emad, R. (2006): Role of journalists: Journalists Speak at 18th Annual National, Managed Health Care Congress, UK Johnson, A. (2005): Fighting AIDS through the Media. New York Press, New York
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