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Journalist Michel Auger has died, according to Quebec media reports – Montreal Gazette

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Journalist Michel Auger, who was known for his long career covering the organized crime world, has died, according to several reports in the Quebec media.

Auger started his career at Nouvelliste in Trois-Rivières in 1964. He then worked at Montréal-Matin and La Presse for a few years before moving to Journal de Montréal.

Auger devoted a large part of his career to organized crime. In the 1990s, he published several series of articles on rivalries between motorcycle gangs — a touchy subject that nearly cost him his life.

On Sept. 13, 2000, while travelling to the offices of the Journal de Montréal, he was riddled with six bullets in the back. He survived his injuries and testified about his experience in his autobiography, The Attack.

After more than 40 years in the industry, he retired in 2006. He honoured many times in his long career. In addition to receiving the Judith-Jasmin Hommage award in 2013, he was also the recipient of the Career Coronation Award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

In 2000, the International Union of the Francophone Press awarded him the prize for free expression. Shortly after being the victim of the attack, Auger received the Medal of the National Assembly.

“Your courage and your refusal to remain silent inspire us and encourage us to reiterate our determination to build a tolerant society free from violence,” Prime Minister Lucien Bouchard declared at the time.

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Anti-mask fringe movement getting more media coverage than warranted: expert – Montreal Gazette

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Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit have enabled once-marginal movements to reach audiences numbering in the millions, he said.

The study surveyed 27,615 Canadians on where they got their news and on their attitudes toward COVID-19.

It also looked at how anti-intellectualism — the generalized distrust of experts and intellectuals — influences attitudes on the risk of contracting COVID-19 and prevention measures like mask-wearing and physical distancing .

Mainstream media are also contributing to the increased visibility of anti-mask groups, Bridgman said. One reason is that media constantly seek another side of every story as a means of advancing the news, he said.

For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, when health authorities around the world were counselling against the general public wearing masks, mainstream media outlets did reports suggesting masks could help prevent the spread of the virus. When governments switched course and called on citizens to don masks, the media raised questions about how effective mask-wearing was, Bridgman said.

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4 ways to respond to vaccine skeptics on social media – The Next Web

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For most of the 20th century, more than 60,000 people died in the US from polio, diphtheria, and small pox each year. In 2016, the American death toll from these diseases was zero. Around the globe, two to three million deaths from these diseases and others, including measles, rubella, and tetanus, are prevented each year.

These remarkable statistics are a triumph of medicine and the single most effective public health measure in history: global vaccination programs.

COVID-19, after the most rapid and sustained vaccine development program in history, now looks set to be joining this list of fatal diseases that can be easily prevented with a jab or two. The disease that has killed an estimated 1.3 million people (and rising), may have had its day. Sadly, there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding vaccinations, threatening the success of inoculation programmes.

So what can you do to protect yourself against misinformation and challenge it in conversation with others?

1. Understand who you are talking to

Let’s not forget that the majority of people are happy to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (64%, according to a recent study). Only a small minority (9%) have no intention of getting vaccinated. If you enter into a debate about vaccination it may well be with someone who falls into this latter group. You are very unlikely to change the minds of these vaccine refusers, so the main audience for your arguments is actually the rest of any onlooking group – and particularly the 27% who are hesitant about vaccination.

[Read: Why this security engineer loves working in infosec]

The point of your discussion is to empower the members of the audience with knowledge and arguments. To do so, it’s important to find common ground and “bond” with whoever you are talking to, rather than just lecturing them.

2. Inoculate against misinformation

There are numerous examples of misinformation “sticking” in our individual and social memories, despite repeated attempts to dislodge it – such as the false “fact” that humans have just five senses. Rather than fighting false facts, the better option is to enable people to spot misinformation before it percolates through society and becomes “endemic” as accepted truth.

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The Debunking Handbook 2020 advocates triggering a mental “immune response” to fake news. To do so we need pre-emptive exposure to weakened versions of the manipulative strategies used by peddlers of false facts. In so doing we can inoculate against, or “prebunk,” the misinformation.

For example, once you realize that some social media users, publications and other bodies can have hidden agendas and may therefore misrepresent studies and cherry-pick information, you are better placed to assess the facts for yourself. Indeed, the tobacco and oil industries rolled out “fake experts” to create doubt that smoking causes cancers and CO₂ emissions affect our climate, respectively.

In my opinion, the excellent BBC Radio 4 program “More or Less” is a particularly good mental vaccine against misinformation.

3. Debunk efficiently

In the midst of a debate it is probably too late to deploy any prebunking tactics. But be careful about launching into a myth-busting monologue. Simply repeating untruths risks making them stick in our memories, so instead focus your talking points on the positive outcomes of vaccinations (like the facts at the top of this article). Don’t be the first person to mention the myth.

Imagine of an international certificate of vaccination.
Measles is on the rise due to vaccine misinformation. Zerbor/Shutterstock

But if in the course of the conversation some misinformation does get a mention you will need to call it out. Let’s imagine you are in the midst of a debate about COVID-19 and someone makes the claim that the 5G network is the real cause of the disease. The key to getting this debunking right is limiting how often the lie gets a mention and making the truth more sticky than the myth. Here’s how to go about it.

a) Start by stating the truth in a clear, concise way. Don’t launch into a long explanation, instead imagine you are writing a headline.

COVID-19 is spread in droplets generated when people exhale, particularly when they cough, sneeze, or shout.

b) Point out the misinformation, and be clear that it is a myth.

The mobile network is basically a series of radio transmitters, and viruses can’t travel by radio waves.

c) Explain why the myth is wrong. You might point out some science that refutes the myth, and call out the flaws in the argument.

Besides, the COVID-19 virus has spread throughout countries, like Iran for example, that have no 5G network.

d) Restate the facts.

4. Think beyond facts

That said, facts alone will only go so far. The words we use are also important, they conjure up imagery that affect our response to the information we are being presented with. Consider “herds” and “communities”. Which of these would you like to be part of? Most people would say “communities.” So if you’re encouraging someone to get vaccinated, you may want to talk about their contribution to community immunity, rather than herd immunity.

Another important technique is storytelling, which can be much more effective than facts. Stories link cause and effect, making the conclusions that you want to present seem almost inevitable. For example, you may want to tell anti-vaxxers about a relative whose life was saved by a vaccine at a time when it wasn’t available to everyone.

Or you may, like the UK’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van Tam, want to stress that you have encouraged your own mother to take the vaccine, rather than just saying the elderly should take it.The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation by Mark Lorch, Professor of Science Communication and Chemistry, University of Hull under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Tokyo 2020 organisers estimate Games postponement cost $1.9 billion: media – Cape Breton Post

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TOKYO (Reuters) – This year’s postponement of the Tokyo Olympics because of the novel coronavirus cost about 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion), organisers have estimated, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday, citing people involved with the event.

The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government were forced to put off the Games for a year in March as the coronavirus spread rapidly around the world.

The Games cost 1.35 trillion yen ($13 billion) before the postponement, the newspaper reported.

The organising committee will decide on a breakdown of the burden of the delay in December, after discussions between the committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the central government, the newspaper said.

A spokesman for the organisers, asked about the report, told Reuters by text message only that the committee is examining the extra costs associated with the delay.

The postponement costs include payment to staff as well as the introduction of new systems for refunding tickets but do not include measures against the spread of the coronavirus, the newspaper said.

The organisers had originally estimated that the delay would cost nearly 300 billion yen but they were able to reduce that figure by simplifying some events, the report said.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Robert Birsel and William Mallard)

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