The COVID-19 pandemic has focused the attention of many to the ongoing challenges of disinformation, propaganda and misinformation and the potential harm it can inflict. Disinformation seeks to deepen divisions within and between Allied nations, and to undermine people’s confidence in elected governments. In order to counteract this, NATO publicly refutes false claims, debunks the main disinformation narratives aimed at the Alliance and coordinates to share information, insight and best practice. Joining us for today’s episode is Colonel Sönke Marahrens, a career Air Force officer who previously served as Head of Research for Strategy and Armed Forces at the German Institute for Defence and Strategic Studies in Hamburg. He was deployed with NATO to Bosnia and Kosovo, and in 2020 served as Branch Head for Transition at HQ Resolute Support in Kabul, Afghanistan. 

Media Minded explores the bizarre world of misinformation and conspiracies. Following on from the success of the first season in 2019, each episode platforms a different subject who has previously been a victim of, or a willing participant in, a conspiracy theory… but these lines may be more blurred than you think. Ex-cultists, anti-vaxxers and more describe their slow descent into the untrue, and those who experience the brunt of the lies and hatred explain the effect that the proliferation of these ideas has. All the while, industry-leading academics and experts provide theoretical justifications for the actions taken by all parties.

Presented by Matteo Bergamini
Edited and recorded by Sabina Mckenzie Brown.

Season 3 of this podcast is made possible thanks to the kind support and sponsorship of the U.S. Mission to NATO.