Main Forums > Living With HIV

What Would You Do? My Local Newspaper Keeps Leading Me On....

(1/3) > >>

To My Forum Family...

Many of you may remember that back in May, I mentioned that I was being 'interviewed' by my local newspaper about Living With HIV for 14 years in this rural community.The interview process developed into three separate visits from the journalist, for a total of 10 hours! We began this process on June 6th, and the 'article' turned into a 'series', each installment amounting to 50 column inches compared to the typical 13 column inches (as indicated to me by the journalist, herself.)

The wonderful thing that happened in the midst of these interviews was this: 1) The journalist, a 24 year old young lady had never met an HIV+ person, ever, and she became completely intriqued with the whole issue, and 2) two other HIV+ women in my community asked to be interviewed, anonymously, for the article, as well, whose circumstances are completely different than mine!

Last week, the managing Editor for the newspaper told me that publication was to be last Thursday. Friends took me out to lunch to celebrate, but alas, no article. Friday came and went, no article that day. And today, nothing.

This morning, I went to the main office in person, and asked to see the Managing Editor. I was told that she was 'against a deadline', and could not come to the front desk. My eye-brows went up for a second, since there is no paper on Tuesday. Hmm.

I've been told that there have been 'space constraints' due to the length of this series. I've been told that murders and deaths take precedence over any other 'news'. I've been warned by a local friend that she believes they do not want to publish such a 'controversial' topic.

The young journalist moved to Georgia on July 11th, hired by a larger, more prominent newspaper, having decided that her job here was a 'dead-end'. She and I became fast friends through this process, and I am proud of her for making such a move for her career. Just months prior to our meeting, she had written a well-received article on HEP C, and spent months working on the research for the HIV article.

I'm wondering, without her in the office on a daily basis anymore, asking about her article, will the newspaper just let it go?

I'm wondering if indeed, what I am experiencing now has everything to do with STIGMA?

Being a patient woman, usually, am I just being over-anxious?

What would you do?

Thanks for reading...any and all input appreciated!!



It sounds to me like you're getting the 'run around'.   I could be wrong.....

I suppose all you can do is wait and see.    Is it stigma?   Maybe....we are quick to assume that when we are unsure.  Maybe a letter, stating that you did that interview in good faith, and you expect to see it in print in a TIMELY fashion....

Let's see if anyone else has any suggestions for you.

Good luck, sweetie.

Love you,

Dear Zephyr:  I did some writing for a newspaper years ago and I think there are a couple of ways to handle this:  1) if you think you've exhausted the options with the managing editor then give up. You could try to make an appointment with that person and see if the are willing to meet with you, I mean all you are really asking about is whether they are going to proceed with the piece or not. So, if they are, see if you can pin them down for a publication date. If not, then proceed to 2) contact the author of the original piece and see if she's willing to do it for the larger paper and go with the angle of "what it's like to be HIV+ in rural Amerika" for a larger circulation.  OR 3) (and I really like this one):  you are articulate, bright, and determined.  Would you consider writing the story yourself and either contributing it to the larger paper or to another publication (ie magazine)?  Sometimes, a first-person angle is better received.

I really wish you so much luck and love in this endeavor.  You are extraordinarily brave! Therefore, love, chris

Zephie, it's Eldon. I would wait and see what the managing editor has to say. They have your contact info right? If so, I'd wait til the end of this month and then go down there again and get some answers. Sounds like they put it on the backburner so to speak. But, that is also a speculation.

Keep us posted and let us know how it turns out. Good Luck!


JR Gabbard:

Dear Zephyr,

   I hate to be the downer, but I doubt that article will ever be published by that paper.  In my experience, newspapers produce more "feature" content than they actually publish.  They are super sweet when they want the interview, and then afterwards you cease to exist, unless they want a follow up.  The young lady who took the interview no longer works there, and the editor is blowing you off.  Strike one, strike two ....

   I don't think it is stigma, though, and it is certainly not because it is a conterversial topic.  Newspapers love controversy because it sells papers.  Small town rags doubly so, especially if it will fuel the local rumor mills.

   But your story should be told.  Have you thought about the Sac Bee?  The local paper in South Lake Tahoe?What about a Bay Area free paper like the Bay Guardian?  They would probably dig the "Look what you have to do to survive HIV in the boonies" angle.

Hang in there, girl!


ps  Hope I got the location right.  Somehow, I have you placed somewhere near Strawberry.  Is that right?  J


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version