The following is an edited version of a report published by Ernestas Taranas of the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis with support from the Beacon Project. The views expressed below are those of the author and do not represent the views of the Beacon Project or the International Republican Institute.
This case study is based on results of media monitoring conducted by IRI’s Beacon Project between September 1 and November 31, 2018, during which Czech and Slovak media produced 1,391 articles about migration. This media monitoring sought to gain an understanding of which migration narratives are disseminated, capture the dynamics of the identified narratives and understand the susceptibility to certain narratives by various demographic groups.
We are in the era of Web 2.0, where everybody can easily spread and promote their own messages and, via social networks and other communication channels, reach a significant number of people. Despite the many positives technological progress has brought, problems with information overload have emerged as well. When it comes to health care and the way the public gets its information the Internet has become one of the first sources people resort to.
The so-called ‘yellow vest’ protests against rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax in France, which started on November 17, 2018, not only took France by storm but also resonated in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The yellow vests – high-visibility jackets, which French protesters adopted as a symbol – gradually spread into other countries a symbol of anti-Western agenda and anti-establishment.