The COVID-19 vaccination campaign and the rise of the mediatization of ignorance

The NEGATE project presents research findings and outcomes at the ECREA 2022 conference on 22 October 2022 in Aarhus, Denmark. The aim of the paper is to discuss the consequences of disseminating the unknown through the media in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unknowns are part of modern medicine but what is the relationship between the unknown and the media in situations of deep uncertainty? Theoretical contribution is based on a combination of mediatization theory and ignorance studies. The case stydy concerns AstraZeneca and vaccine hesitancy. We suggest that it may not be possible to prevent the mediatization of ignorance in situations of deep uncertainty, but steps can be taken to mitigate its consequences, such as improving science education. It is necessary to keep exploring the influence that non-knowledge holds on different areas of society.