Addressing the Need for Socially Responsible Communication in the Indian Media | World Bank Institute (WBI)

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July 31, 2009—India’s mass media sector is dynamic, growing, and has a huge audience. Mass media can be a force for social change. Media coverage of HIV/AIDS in India, however, has been erratic in quality.  Sensationalism can contribute to stigmatization and discrimination, the privacy of victims is often not respected, fact checking is frequently lacking, and the media’s role in public education is unclear and inconsistent.

Approach

The World Bank Institute (WBI) has partnered with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service Trust in a capacity building program to put socially responsible communication into schools of communication and journalism. HIV/AIDS and other health issues are topics for applied exercises. WBI’s goal for the program was to test an innovative solution that has the potential to go to scale in India and elsewhere, and also be cost effective.

open-quotesSince the media’s role in public education is unclear and inconsistent...WBI has partnered with the BBC in a capacity building program to put socially responsible communication into schools of communication and journalism.close-quotes

Results

The program developed curricula on Socially Responsible Communication for regular course offerings in three of the leading schools of communication in India: the Asian College of Journalism, Jamia Millia, and Amity. The course is mandatory in two schools and elective in the third. The first round of training prepared 120 students with the skills and attitudes they need to cover HIV/AIDS, health, and other social issues in their media and communications work.