The Inoculation
Who is spreading vaccination misinformation and why?

Who is spreading vaccination misinformation and why?

April 2, 2021

Aggressive political networks, associations of concerned parents and even state-affiliated media - many actors have been found to share misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines currently used in the EU. "Oxford seems to have created a vaccine for monkeys," a host on Rossiya 1 channel said in September. Why are they doing this? And how can we measure the influence these messages have on internet users?

To find out, Daiva and Eva talk to Dr Aliaksandr Herasimenka, a postdoctoral researcher at the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute. "The COVID-19 pandemic has already caused a huge political and social disruption across the world. We will see emergence of new types of political groups, political organisations that will be more disruptive than what we previously called populists. They will be potentially more damaging to democracy," he says.

Herasimenka is a co-author of a paper on misinformation distribution on Telegram. You can read all his papers here. In this episode Eva mentions comparisons of pandemic-related restrictions to the Holocaust - you can read more about the phenomenon here, here and here.

Our research is supported by Journalismfund.eu. Please subscribe to this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

Vaccine communication — how to avoid common mistakes

Vaccine communication — how to avoid common mistakes

March 19, 2021

After a series of delivery hiccups and reports of some frontliners not showing up for their jabs, Europe - and other regions - tensely awaited the European Medicines Agency's assessment on the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Its rollout was shrouded in rumours from the start. How can journalists navigate the landscape of statistics and personal testimonies? How can we best answer readers' questions? And how can everyone be better prepared for conversations about vaccines in their community?

To find out The Inoculation talked to freelance journalist Laura Oliver. Laura is the author of A Freelancer's Guide for Reporting on Vaccines, published by the European Journalism Centre. She previously worked as a community coordinator at The Guardian, where one of her duties was sourcing eyewitness accounts from the ‘Arab Spring’. Later she worked on the GuardianWitness platform, before starting off as a freelancer and co-founding the Society of Freelance Journalists. You can read more about the reporting guide here and more about Laura here.

Our research is supported by Journalismfund.eu. Please subscribe to this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

Misinformation in Slovakia

Misinformation in Slovakia

March 5, 2021

The Inoculation's team has lately been looking into misinformation. Together with colleagues in Latvia and Estonia, we investigated misinformation in the Baltic States for a story published in Re:Baltica. In this episode of our podcast, we look at how authorities are combating health-related misinformation in Slovakia.

Jakub Goda, an experienced social media professional, joined his country's public sector to identify and counter health-related misinformation. "Governments and government institutions should use creative, digitally skilled people to communicate in the social media environment, and digital environment in general, and not to rely on old-school bureaucratic way of responding to journalists' questions," he says. "It's a kind of deeper mental transformation that needs to happen."

You can read how he infiltrated a misinformation-spreading website here. You can also read about the People's Party - Our Slovakia, mentioned in this episode, on Deutsche Welle. More information on the party's links to health misinformation is available on The Slovak Spectator.

Our research is supported by Journalismfund.eu. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

Estimating the size of anti-vaccination movements

Estimating the size of anti-vaccination movements

February 19, 2021

Are 'vaccine hesitancy', 'vaccine skepticism' and 'anti-vaccination sentiment' synonyms? Do people who say they doubt vaccine safety always refuse vaccines? In this episode Eva and Daiva discuss the challenges researchers face when trying to estimate the size of the anti-vaccination movement and the number of its sympathizers.

Our interviewees are: Prof. Maya Goldenberg, Dr Jonathan Kennedy, Prof. Jason Reifler, Dr Samantha Vanderslott. We also thank Col. Gintaras Koryzna for providing valuable data. You can read the Slate article we reference here. In addition, we refer to the Wellcome Global Monitor 2018.

Do read our story in Nara: https://bit.ly/3auBWke. Lithuanian readers can find our story on vaccination in electoral debates in the February issue of the IQ magazine. Our research is supported by Journalismfund.eu

Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

Welcome to The Inoculation

Welcome to The Inoculation

January 22, 2021

Hello and welcome to The Inoculation, a podcast where we tell international stories on health, misinformation, vaccines, COVID-19, public policies, and more. We, Daiva Repečkaitė and Eva von Schaper, are two journalists looking into the politics and values surrounding public health, starting from vaccination.

We publish our stories in news outlets in multiple languages, and as a listener of our podcast you will learn how we got there, what often goes underreported, and what geeky details didn’t make it into our publications. Our research on vaccine skepticism is supported by Journalismfund.eu

Please subscribe to this podcast wherever you like to listen. You can follow The Inoculation on Twitter at @TInoculation. You can also follow us individually: Eva at @EvavonSchaper and Daiva at @daiva_hadiva

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