Czech Radio: Political scientist says Europe is not the epicenter of political violence, but anti-Muslim hate is spreading there
Tuesday's "Interview Plus" program on Czech Radio focused on the question of the ongoing terrorist attacks in Europe. Ondřej Ditrych, a political scientist at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague and the Institute of International Relations, discussed the impact of how the media reports such events and whether a growth in violence is actually happening in Europe that should give us reason to panic.
During the interview, Ditrych emphasized that according to statistical data, Europe is currently safer than it has ever been, even with these terrorist attacks. "Three-quarters of these attacks are concentrated in five countries worldwide and their victims are Muslims - Europe, in short, is not the epicenter of the political violence we call terrorism, even if it might seem to be from the reporting of recent days and weeks," he explained.
Ditrych also pointed out that media messaging, primarily that of visual media, as well as online social networks have a tendency to present what is happening in the world dramatically and sensationally. The depiction created does not absolutely correspond to the facts or the numbers.
What is important, in his view, is always to put reporting into context and to suppress the tendency to dumb it down. "Numbers are very cold - but their effect helps us turn our gaze away from the daily news, which bombards us with the reports about attacks, chaos and unrest that are primarily brought to us by the visual media," Ditrych told Czech Radio.
"These reports create the illusion of immediacy - what is happening somewhere very far away is not only repeated over and over, but seems to be happening in our living rooms," the political scientist said. He went on to explain that it is easy to disseminate fear among the consumers of such media depictions of chaos, as well as a feeling of danger, and that the politics of fear in particular is, for many populist politicians, a way to easily win voters' political support.
You will find more statistics at Statista
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