Interviews in journalism is one of the most significant and important activities in the process of gathering information. Both broadcast and print media rely heavily on interviews with craft a good story that wets the appetite of the reader.
Interview people who are HIV positive or those living with AIDS poses an extra challenge to the reporter that will adorn the mantle of sensitivity, but be able to break through the silence and taboo in many cultures openly talking about sex. In Zimbabwe and many cultures, it is taboo to discuss issues of sex and to mention them separately. Certain words related to sex, such as virus and condoms are not a Zimbabwean language. Worse human private parts in the African context can not be freely and easily can without breaking the taboos.
For a reporter to be recognized and respected to be aware of cultural factors which may endanger the people are open with information that is important for a good interview. Culture is a complex and controversial phenomenon that can be defined in a multiplicity of ways. While it can be defined as “normal”, that’s what people do at a given moment. However, on the other hand, it can be perceived as “whole life learned over time and is transmitted from generation to generation.”
The complex culture can be experienced in the way people form and express their sense of identity. As a way of life, it is made up of norms and values that informs thought perception and behavior.
In many cultures, gender roles because women are less willing to speak openly or honestly, the “private”, and issues related to sex and sexual behavior. When the interview where both men and women are present, women will be silent and let the debate to men.
In the African context, a woman did not openly show it hurt, pain, sexual abuse, violence and denial of sexual rights. Such silence perpetuates the violation of women and other human rights.
Understanding gender roles in journalism says the story that women tend to be silent or less out in the interviews that have to do with sex or HIV / AIDS. As a journalist know gender relations, cultural and social characteristics that underpin the society are informed to help each journalist to be better forearmed and understanding “what to say.”
Using interviews as a way to gather news information and understanding of the complexities of important issues, the reporter can begin to uncover the stories of the daily efforts of women and men who make a small decision to protect themselves but come up against obstacles.
In Zimbabwe, several workshops have been conducted to educate the reporter to take account of media ethics in their day to day business. Among the media organizations have been reminiscent of journalists is that they should tell the truth, respecting individuals, protect the source, report objectively and give the audience their right of reply.