Ads over info
While The Times prioritised an HIV home testing story, the Sowetan’s poor presentation of the same story belies its readers’ news interests.
This week saw some newspapers running articles on an innovative new HIV home testing initiative by the Society for Family Health.
But upon comparison of how the story was presented by The Times and its sister publication the Sowetan, it appears that Sowetan has deprioritised the story despite tacitly acknowledging that its readers are interested in and affected by HIV. (Sowetan published a full-page advertisement for a dubious immune booster which “fights against HIV” the day before).
The Times published the story with some fanfare, giving it the lion’s share of the page, accompanied by a large picture and a bold headline.
In contrast to The Times, Sowetan ran a tiny article tucked away in a corner on page two of Tuesday’s (8 November 2012) edition.
So it would seem that while the Sowetan chose to prioritise an advert that promotes what is apparently a quack product (which is potentially dangerous), it deprioritises news stories that actually contain important and accurate HIV information.