The best in HIV/AIDS journalism were honoured, progress celebrated and lives remembered at Malaysian AIDS Foundation’s silver jubilee bash.
KUALA LUMPUR, 5 July 2018 – The veritable who’s who in Malaysia’s HIV/AIDS movement including past Presidents of the Malaysian AIDS Council, activists, celebrities and supporters of the cause, decked in red and silver, thronged the Red Ribbon Media Awards 2018 in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF).
The event, which was previously a regular fixture of the then biannual MAF fundraiser Red Ribbon Gala, made its return after a six-year hiatus to honour excellence in journalism and creative media content related to HIV/AIDS in Malaysia. It was launched by Dr. Lee Boon Chye, Deputy Minister of Health Malaysia.
The Red Ribbon Media Awards were aligned with the goal of Strategy 3 of the Ministry of Health Malaysia’s National Strategic Plan for Ending AIDS 2016 – 2030 that seeks the role of key stakeholders, especially the media, in reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination.
“Stigma and discrimination remain a barrier for people living with HIV and key populations to access otherwise readily available lifesaving HIV treatment and health services,” said Professor Dato’ Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Chairman of the MAF.
“In fighting stigma, words and images matter. In fact, words and images are as powerful as – if not more than – HIV treatment and science. Therefore, the role of the media, through its craft and imagery, in challenging stigma, improving knowledge and shaping public opinion on HIV/AIDS, particularly now as efforts to end AIDS by 2030 gather pace, cannot be overstated.”
Media practitioners whose HIV/AIDS-related works were produced in Malaysia between January 2016 and December 2017 were eligible to enter in three categories: Outstanding Achievement in Print Media, Outstanding Achievement in Broadcast Media and Outstanding Achievement in Web-based Media.
Entries were judged by a panel of media and HIV/AIDS experts based on accuracy of content; use of appropriate, sensitive and inclusive language; relevance and impact of the work within the context of HIV/AIDS in Malaysia, as well as originality and creativity of the work.
“HIV science is evolving at great speed, and this compels the media to catch up with the most recent scientific progress, underscoring the impact of responsible, ethical and evidence-based reporting on HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitude and perception of media consumers.
“This year’s best entries were noted for their emphasis on evidence, as well as the humanity in HIV/AIDS. We hope they will inspire other media practitioners to continue producing quality media content and contribute to the greater HIV/AIDS discourse,” she added.
Loo Juosie from BFM 89.9: The Business Station won the Outstanding Achievement in Broadcast Media award for her docuseries Positive Lives.
Meanwhile, Wan Nur Izzati Wan Mohd Nor Zaida from MyKampus TV took home the Outstanding Achievement in Web-Based Media award for her World AIDS Day 2017 public service announcements Malu Beli Kondom and Telenovela: HIV Tak Kenal Siapa.
There were no winners in the Outstanding Achievement in Print Media category.
The winner of each category received a full scholarship to attend the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from 23 to 27 July – where a robust Malaysian agenda will be showcased – on top of a RM3,000 cash prize, trophy and certificate of excellence.
A Special Jury Prize was awarded to Anne Edwards from anneedwardstv.com for her report Human Resources Ministry mulling laws to protect employees living with HIV/AIDS. She too received a full scholarship to participate in AIDS 2018.
Refer to the appendix below for the complete list of nominees and winners.
In addition to competitive categories, Special Red Ribbon Media Awards were presented to Audrey Edwards and Rosmah Mohd Dain for longstanding contribution to HIV/AIDS journalism in Malaysia.
Audrey Edwards has written extensively on HIV/AIDS for more than 18 years, covering issues that ran the gamut from HIV/AIDS in orang asli in Johor to more recently home-based sex work and the Malaysian-Thai border harm reduction programme. She worked in New Straits Times and The Star in the past and is currently the weekend editor at Malay Mail. She has won several industry awards throughout her illustrious career including Best Reporter (English) in the National Press Club Media Awards and Ministry of Health Media Awards (print). She was also a past winner of the Red Ribbon Media Award (print). Her participation in the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship allowed her the opportunity to work at The Washington Post. Her passion for the HIV/AIDS cause stems from her intent to urge the public to join the fight to end AIDS while providing a voice for the marginalised.
Rosmah Mohd Dain, family and woman’s desk assistant editor at Utusan Malaysia has been writing about HIV/AIDS since the early 2000’s, beginning with news and short features on the plight of women and children living with HIV. She then shifted her focus to the plight of the homeless and vulnerable groups in the back alleys of Lorong Haji Taib, Kuala Lumpur. Her feature story Kaunselor di Lorong Gelap won her the Red Ribbon Media Award (print – Malay) in 2006. More recently, she reported on HIV and drug use among fisherfolk in the Malaysian east coast, although her interest remains in highlighting women’s HIV/AIDS issues.
Red Ribbon Celebrity Supporters Bob Yusof, Dayang Nurfaizah, Shah Shamshiri and Winnie K were each honoured with a special award for longstanding service as champions of the HIV/AIDS cause.
The Red Ribbon Media Awards were part of a yearlong celebration to mark MAF’s silver jubilee, a milestone that is characterised by sustained reduction in new HIV infections, improved access to HIV prevention and treatment for key populations and strengthened multisectoral commitment led by the Ministry of Health Malaysia to ending AIDS by 2030.
Ending AIDS: Silver Linings in the First 25 Years of Malaysian AIDS Council, a commemorative book chronicling the history of Malaysia’s leading non-governmental organisation (NGO) on HIV/AIDS and related case studies was released at the same event.
Another highlight was the special recognition given posthumously to Roslan Hamzah, a pioneer HIV/AIDS transwoman activist who died on 12 June this year. Atuk, as she was fondly known, led a life of service for the community since the early days of the epidemic under NGOs such as PT Foundation and later, Persatuan Persatuan Cahaya Harapan Negeri Kedah/Perlis. Her two decades-long activism has resulted in increased visibility of people living with HIV in the media and improved understanding of the issues and challenges faced by people living with HIV as well as transwomen and people who use drugs around acceptance, human rights and access to health.
The Red Ribbon Media Awards 2018 were jointly presented by Malaysian AIDS Council, MAF and GTower Kuala Lumpur; in partnership with Ministry of Health Malaysia and Coalition Plus; platinum sponsor AirAsia; supported by IREKA Corporation Berhad; strategic partner Malaysian Press Institute; with special thanks to M.A.C Cosmetics and Vantage Five Sdn. Bhd.
The event also featured the #MYXHEPC Clever New Media Festival aimed at bringing public attention in Malaysia to the looming public health crisis that is Hepatitis C, a common co-infection with HIV, through social media.
About Malaysian AIDS Foundation
The Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) was formed in 1992 to raise and administer funds to support the activities and programmes of Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) and its Partner Organisations. MAF funds prevention, treatment and care programmes conducted by MAC. MAF also distributes corporate donors’ funds to support projects that have been unable to secure government funding or projects located in parts of the country where resources are scarce. Learn more at http://yam.org.my.
Malaysian AIDS Foundation Red Ribbon Media Awards 2018 Nominees
Outstanding Achievement in Print Media
There are no winners in this category.
Outstanding Achievement in Broadcast Media
- ASTRO Radio News
World AIDS Day: Bakhtiar Talhah and Andrew Tan
Azlin Balqis, Producer
- WINNER – BFM89.9: The Business Station
Loo Juosie, Producer
The Morning Show Special Interview on World AIDS Day: Treatment Literacy, Awareness and Sensitization
Muhammad Faizal Husaini Rashid, Producer
Outstanding Achievement in Web-based Media
- SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – anneedwardstv.com
Anne Edwards, Executive Producer
- Ilmu Seks
Penyakit Kelamin (STD): Ilmu Seks #9
Shazard Amani Mohamed Zaffian, Producer
- WINNER – MyKampus TV
Malu Beli Kondom and Telenovela: HIV Tak Kenal Siapa
Wan Nur Izzati Wan Mohd Nor Zaida, Producer.