Our selected readings and comments:
EU countries agreed to pre-book several vaccines together. But the (now former) prime minister of Slovakia decided to act when the Western vaccines wouldn’t come fast enough. This cost him his post. Learn what happened on the latest episode of our podcast, produced with help from award-winning Slovak journalist Lukáš Onderčanin. Lukáš and I met on a press trip to Thailand. It’s exciting to collaborate again!
The media reported today that French-speaking ‘influencers’ on social networks have been approached by a dubious PR agency to promote negative messages about the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine (I saw it on Twitter and then it was reported here). In this episode, Eva and I talk to experts who have been collecting data about how false claims about vaccines link to the pro-Kremlin media apparatus — and what’s at stake. Continue reading
Since my colleague Eva and I started our project on anti-vaccination movements, reading about the topic has often led us to academic and media articles on misinformation or disinformation. The distinction between the two is not always clear, but it is based on intent. Disinformation is defined as intentional efforts to mislead people in order to sow distrust and chaos. And just like the general population was flooded with public health terminology (R number, exponential curve and so on) after the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world, our readers, too are increasingly introduced to the typology of misleading claims on various fact-checking websites, social networks, and the media. Eva and I are working on more podcast episodes to explain these distinctions.
You can find some useful resources from First Draft here and here. It is important to note that misinformation and disinformation make use of real facts, but frame them to guide their audience towards misleading conclusions. In data visualisation, using a truncated Y axis is an example of a manipulation that can lead people to misinterpret correct data. Continue reading
Laura Oliver talked to numerous international reporters to glean suggestions for reporting on vaccines. But our podcast episode is not just for reporters – as we discuss visuals, fact-checks and tone when engaging in a politically charged conversations about vaccines, I think everyone who is having these conversations with their family and friends will find useful tips. Listen and subscribe! Continue reading
Our new podcast episode is out: Continue reading
Together with my colleague Eva von Schaper, with the kind support of Journalismfund.eu, we are launching a podcast on the politics and values surrounding public health. Expect discussions on COVID-19, vaccination, masks, political debates on public health measures, data, and more. Please follow us wherever you listen to podcasts!