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Eva Bognar on Trust, Propaganda and News Avoidance

Our Senior Program Officer and Researcher Eva Bognar was interviewed on Klubradio's evening news program about the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2022, in which she authored the chapter on Hungary.

Asked about why news avoidance is a problem, she said a healthy media environment is an important part of the healthy operation of a democracy, or of a community. Regarding the decreasing trust in the news, she pointed out a contradiction: while people are generally encouraged to be critical and not to accept everything they are being fed in the media without thinking about it, the lack of trust in the media is considered a problem. She also discussed what role propaganda may play in the rise of illiberal democracies given the general distrust in the media. She pointed out that propaganda has an agenda setting role, which works even if people are skeptical about the factuality of the news.

She talked about innovations in journalism, such as explainer videos, solutions journalism and podcasts as potential tools against news avoidance. Yet she said: “Journalism sees many innovative efforts, but in a general crisis of trust when trust in institutions is low, there is only so much journalists can do.”

Listen to the interview (in Hungarian, starts at 21:02) here.

Photo by Luis Cortés on Unsplash
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