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The Filter | Verify This

How Uncertainty Feeds Misinformation

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Political tension and an ongoing public health crisis have one thing in common: misinformation. So how do we learn what’s what?

This episode is a conversation starter. In episode four, we look at how belief systems changed and were shaped this past year while tapping into how they evolved in public health and politics. 

We learn with Dr. Beth Vonnahme, a professor of political science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Then we speak to Jason Glenn, a historian and philosopher of medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center, who explains what he’s done to quell misinformation about the COVID vaccine and build bridges to better understanding.

What we read and listened to: 

Here are a few fascinating reads and listens we found during our research for this episode. Dig in and let us know what you think! Tweet us at @vickyd_c and @fentywise. 

  • Is there a way to combat or stop people from going down misinformation rabbit holes? This expert says yes. Listen to NPR’s Short Wave, a science podcast, to learn how.
  • Vox broke down the famous Nikki Minaj incident where she warned people to “do their own research” about the COVID vaccines. Turns out she was basing her hesitancy on an incident that happened to her cousin in Trinidad, which has become a sort of pop culture meme around the internet. Read more here
  • Did you know psychologists are studying uncertainty? This American Psychological Association brief outlines a few fascinating facts and includes links to current studies. If so inclined, read it here.
  • Here’s a link to the research paper from the International Society of Political Psychology on conspiracy theories, which we cite in the episode.

Get to know the hosts:

The Filter - Ieshia Downton | Illustration by Yup Yup Design
Co-host Ieshia Downton | Illustration by Yup Yup Design

Ieshia Downton (she/her/hers) is the co-host and creator of The Filter podcast and social media coordinator at Kansas City PBS. She is a Kansas City native with Caribbean roots and an interest in cultural storytelling and reporting. Before joining Kansas City PBS, Ieshia contributed to KC Studio magazine and un’ruly magazine as a feature writer. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, with an emphasis in magazine writing. 



The Filter - Vicky Diaz-Camacho | Illustration by Yup Yup Design
Co-host Vicky Diaz-Camacho | Illustration by Yup Yup Design

Vicky Diaz-Camacho (she/her/hers) is the co-host, producer and creator of The Filter podcast and the community reporter for Flatland at Kansas City PBS. Raised in El Paso, Texas, a border city in the Southwest, Vicky’s roots as half-Mexican and Puerto Rican inform much of her reporting, which tends to focus on culture, race and health. Before joining Kansas City PBS, she interned at NPR and worked as a Kansas City Business Journal data journalist. She graduated from the University of Kansas School of Journalism focused on news and editing and is a University Daily Kansan alumna. 

Production team credits: Ieshia Downton, Vicky Diaz-Camacho, Naina Rao, Felicia Diaz, PJ Kelly and Ana Parra.

Theme song credit: Aysia Berlynn and Primary Color Music.

The Post Haus is an audio production company in the Lawrence and Kansas City area.
Production support for this podcast is brought to you by The Post Haus, a full-service post-production audio agency. Find more information here. (Courtesy)

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