A new book on COVID-19 infodemic

Over the past three years, not only has a wave of severe respiratory disease swept over virtually all of human civilization, but also a wave of vast amounts of information related to it. Information both accurate and less accurate, true and misleading or completely false. This phenomenon, which accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic and often caused more damage than the virus alone, is the subject of a new book by Václav Moravec and Ladislav Dušek, published by Academia.

29 Mar 2023

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The team of authors examines in detail the factors contributing to the development of the infodemic (e.g. unpreparedness of public health institutions to deal with the pandemic, political exploitation/abuse of the pandemic, low level of media and health literacy of the population, information overload in society, media chasing for ratings, etc.). The dominant part of the publication is the manifestations of infodemia in the domestic media landscape (e.g. disinformation narratives in the early days of the pandemic and their spread, inappropriate use of war metaphors by journalists, inaccurate handling of numbers by the media, live monitoring of the pandemic without taking into account the wider context, etc.). The book is also supplemented by a clear explanatory glossary of key terms in relation to the suppression of the COVID-19 infodemic.

In addition to Prof. Dušek, Head of the Institute of Biostatistics and Analyses of the Faculty of Medicine, other authors from IBA – Jakub Gregor, Jiří Jarkovský, Martin Komenda, Ondřej Májek and Tomáš Pavlík – contributed to selected chapters. Our institute also provided graphic design, illustrations and typesetting of the book.

The book was officially introduced on 27 March 2023 in the Academia bookstore on Prague's Wenceslas Square and its "godparents" were Petr Konvalinka, the chairman of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, Rastislav Maďar, an epidemiologist and dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Ostrava University, Marek Vácha, an ethicist and theologian, and Petr Dvořák, the director of the Czech Television.

The introductory photo and photos 5 and 6 in the gallery: Soňa Pokorná

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