As is the case in other situations of deep uncertainty, the unknowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic have aroused a great deal of attention in the media. In our new article, we examine the coverage of the AstraZeneca vaccine controversies, drawing insights both from mediatization theory and ignorance studies. We develop a new concept called ‘the mediatization of ignorance’. In doing so, we conceptualize the procedure through which unknowns become mediatized as a three-step process that results from a combination of logics from the areas of politics, health, and science/industry. Moreover, we argue that the mediatization of ignorance may have promoted vaccine hesitancy at a moment when vaccination was crucial for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. We conclude by suggesting the need to explore in further detail the role that ignorance plays not only in the management of the COVID-19 crisis but also in different areas of society.
Sendra, A., Torkkola, S. & Parviainen, J. (2023) AstraZeneca vaccine controversies in the media: Theorizing about the mediatization of ignorance in the context of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Health Communication https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2023.2171951