The Science Festival is Poland’s largest and most prestigious science popularization event. Its mission is to disseminate science by enabling people to interact with it, learn about its methods and achievements, and encourage everyone to deepen their knowledge. This year, it took place in September 15-29, 2023.

Anna Jupowicz-Ginalska had the pleasure of delivering an open-to-the-public lecture on refugee crises on the Belarusian and Ukrainian borders through the eyes of the media. The lecture was titled “Polish Border or Polish Borders? The Polarized Media Approach to the Refugee Crises at the Belarus (2021) and Ukraine (2022) Borders. Media Image“.

Almost two years have passed since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and more than two and a half years have elapsed since the start of the humanitarian crisis on the border with Belarus. The war, including the hybrid one at Poland’s borders, as well as the unabated refugee crisis, has presented new challenges to the media in the areas of social responsibility, professional integrity, and thematic pluralism.

In the face of such dramatic events, we asked ourselves: In times of crisis and war, should the media unflinchingly foster attitudes of tolerance and respect for diversity (and if so, how)? What should they pay attention to? What are the opportunities, but also the risks, of inclusivity in such unstable times? How are news media editors dealing with new challenges, including polarization, fake news, trolling, algorithmization, bots, and other technological and political issues?

These questions were addressed in a lecture that combined a diverse methodological approach, including content analysis of selected media regarding humanitarian crises and in-depth interviews with media representatives.

The topic also became the subject of a lively discussion with the audience about the condition of the media and our approach to diversity in times of war. Anna Jupowicz-Ginalska moderated the main debate on the social (in)responsibility of journalists.

The full programme of The Science Festival 2023 can be found here.