cers (CEOs) of media companies around the world in attendance, in January 2004, at the UN. At that meeting the Global Media AIDS initiative was launched by Secretary General Kofi Annan, who presided over the gathering, referred to it at the time as “one of the most im- portant meetings the year will bring.”
At the meeting, companies including Viacom, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) pledged to continue and expand their cross-company public education efforts on HIV/AIDS. Proposals for new initia- tives, including efforts in Russia by Gazprom- Media—one of the country’s largest private media holdings—and in India by the Star Group Ltd., Rupert Murdoch’s media holding, were also announced. In addition, every exec- utive in attendance signed a statement of sup- port pledging to raise the level of public aware- ness and understanding about HIV/AIDS.
Russia. In the year after the UN meet-
ing, the Russian Media Partnership to Combat HIV/AIDS (RMP)—a group of more than thirty media and communications partners, including television networks such as NTV, STS, and TNT; print partners such as Izvestia and Komsomolskaya Pravda; radio networks such as Ekho Moskvy; wire service RIA Novosti; and the leading online company, Rus- sia Online—was formed.4 It is directed by the Moscow-based Transatlantic Partners against AIDS (TPAA) with substantive and technical direction from Kaiser, the U.S.-based media company Viacom, and UNAIDS Russia. The partnership launched Russia’s first coordi- nated public education campaign, StopSPID (Stop AIDS), on World AIDS Day 2004. The effort created public service advertisements (PSAs) on television, radio, print, and online platforms; special radio and television pro- gramming and print publications; and free print and Web-based information for consum- ers. To expand interest in the RMP model in other parts of the region, Kaiser, TPAA, and UNAIDS co-organized a Eurasia Media Lead- ers Summit on HIV/AIDS in Moscow in Octo- ber 2004, with CEOs from media companies in Russia, Ukraine, and other countries of the
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Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pro- vides financial support for TPAA.
Creative summit. In November 2004
more than 100 creative and programming di- rectors from thirty-five media companies, top communications and advertising experts, and representatives of nongovernmental organiza- tions (NGOs) around the world that are in- volved in HIV/AIDS met in New York at the UN to exchange ideas on how to incorporate HIV/AIDS messages into short- and long-form programming.5 This Global Creative Summit on HIV/AIDS was organized by MTV Net- works International, Viacom, Kaiser, UNAIDS, and the UN’s Department of Information. The Gates Foundation and the International Acad- emy of Television Arts and Sciences also sup- ported the summit.
India. In January 2005 Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh oversaw a meeting of top media executives from across India for that country’s first national Media Leaders Summit on HIV/AIDS.6 The meeting was convened by the Indian information and broadcasting min- istry, health and family welfare ministry, and the Heroes Project, cochaired by actor Richard Gere and conducted in partnership with Kai- ser and the Avahan Initiative, a project of the Gates Foundation.7 The summit resulted in a commitment by media companies—including Prasar Bharati, the nation’s government-run television and radio company; commercial television properties STAR India, Sony TV, New Delhi TV, and MTV India; and leading newspapers, such as the Hindu (circulation 900,000) and Hindustan Times—to supporting public education efforts on HIV/AIDS. Among the commitments made was a pledge by Sony to integrate HIV messages into three episodes of the top-rated Indian Idol show, which is mod- eled on the popular American Idol; and the Hin- dustan Times’ plan to develop an informational booklet for women on HIV/AIDS.
Kaiser And U.S. Media
These international efforts build on a pub- lic education partnership model developed over the past decade by Kaiser in collaboration