Faculty of Arts and Letters academic staff Mr. Karl Patrick R. Mendoza, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, presented his paper exploring the role of trust in the news production of the Dengvaxia vaccine scandal during the 4th International Conference in Scandalogy held from September 29 to October 1, 2022, at the University of Bamberg, Germany.
The paper presented by Mr. Mendoza was just one of the three case studies making up his Ph.D. thesis. Nonetheless, he is optimistic that the findings of the entire thesis will stimulate further academic discourse on vaccine scandals both in the Philippines and abroad as he believes that these events can teach us more than just lessons for vaccine hesitancy and health communication.
His presentation discussed “how a Western journalism trust culture finds itself expressed in the way journalists align themselves with the competitive model of democracy that facilitates their internalization of a contradiction between how they understand and perform their role as challengers of the dominant narrative.”
Mendoza found that, “Far from being moments of professional disruption then, the news coverage of the Dengvaxia scandal was an occasion where ‘more of the same’ got reproduced. Yet, rather than being legitimized from the practical, local, or organic contexts of their application, this ‘more of the same’ got justified ‘from without’ by journalists.”
The conference was first organized in 2016 by the Scandalogy Research Initiative led by Dr. Hendrik Michael and Prof. Dr. André Haller. The Scandalogy Research Initiative aims to foster a network of international academics from a variety of disciplines, including political communication, journalism studies, public relations, digital communication research, and cultural studies. Most of its scientific output is presented at bi-annual conferences and collected volumes.
As stated on its website, the range of academic fields that study scandals as social phenomena justifies designating “Scandalogy” as a separate area of study. In this regard, Scandalogy seeks to deepen our comprehension of the connections between scandals and the media while examining their effects on society.
Mr. Mendoza, currently teaching in UST under the Department of Communication and Media Studies, is in his last year of Ph.D. studies. Upon finishing, he intends to continue working for UST in the hopes of cultivating a new generation of social scientists who will work with him in studying Filipino political culture and communication.
The full video recording of his paper presentation can be accessed at: https://www.academia.edu/video/kVRBJk