New Publication: From Anti-Vaccination to Kremlin's Proxy


27 May 2022/Political Capital Institute, Prague Security Studies Institute

In Central-Eastern Europe, a so-called “grey zone” has emerged in the media, which tries to influence public opinion and pre-election political campaigns through hyper-partisan and sometimes even extremist – often anonymous or only seemingly “independent” – political communication, utilising conspiracy theories and ignoring the standards of ethical journalism. Our media research in the Czech Republic has, therefore, looked at the Czech political campaign communication between 1 September and 31 October 2021 to map and reveal the Czech “grey zone” media ecosystem, its role in the “dirty campaign,” and the war-related rhetoric later in 2022.

As a result of our research, we could identify two different layers of the “grey zone” media. The first one is comprised of mostly inscrutable conspiracy or clickbait outlets, such as Pravý prostor, New World Order Opposition, and CZ24 News, established five to ten years prior, whereas a new kind of anti-vaccination media led by public faces and new anti-vaccination movements, such as Otevřeme Česko – Chcípl PES, TV Šalingrad, or Srdcem pro vlast, has sprung up since the start of the pandemic in 2020. 

You can download the publication here.