European Wilderness Society

Media Hype, Politicians in panic, Fake news in abundance!

Just like after the non-fatal bear attack in Italy, we received in the last days after the many unverified and often hyped-up media reports of a supposedly deadly dog or possible wolf attack in Greece many angry mails and comments. They hyped up and often very emotional reaction is often seen in regions where the animals and in this case the wolf is relatively new to the nature landscape. In countries where the large carnivores are much more abundant, the emotions and hype are replaced by facts and a common sense approach to managing the situations. Always remember the Media has cater to their clients and have to increase their circulation and nothing does this better than a good or in this case bad headline.

My appeal to all of you is therefore very simple: Stay calm and do not react to every media, Facebook, Twitter or Internet posting.

Both the anti-wolf and some pro-wolf parties use such hyped up situations media reports for their own extreme agenda.

Take a break, drink a cup of coffee or tea and take a walk outside.

The return of the Wolf is causing more and more hectic and emotional reactions from all parties and the discussion is becoming more and more chaotic. Remarkably it is not the wolves that are causing this but our own impatience, desire for headlines and shortsightedness coupled with lack of knowledge. Let’s just remember that Dogs, Horses, Cows, Ponies, Mosquitos as well as Ticks kill people every year in Europe but none of these incidents cause such a fervor.

The only thing that helps in such situation is to keep calm. It is always recommended to inform yourselves objectively, check out the renown media websites and well reputable newspapers, check the Websites of the National Environmental Authorities and Ministries and read very carefully what is written in detail – not what they want you to believe.

And please do not forget: We have a strong European species protection. It can´t be ignored or just be replaced. All 27 EU Countries just confirmed the FFH directive again last year. Killing a Wolf is only possible under very specific conditions and after careful examination by the authorities in a multistakeholder process just like we do not kill all the dogs or cows just because a deadly incident happened somewhere.

We will continue with our work to educate the public about the ecological benefits of the wolf to the management of forests and the health of wildlife in Europe regardless of the current media hype.

2 thoughts on “Media Hype, Politicians in panic, Fake news in abundance!

  • Hi

    While one side has no qualms with spreading fake news, the other side shies away from communicating anything that is not 100% scientifically proven. At the moment the wolf killing lobby, who basically only want trophy hunting of wolves, believes that the timing is perfect for tilting the law in their favor. That is why we as Nature Organizations and individuals need to be so actively communicating 24h/365 days a week in a positive way. This way we act and do not react.

  • What happened in Greece: A woman made an emergency call telling her relatives about being attacked by “stray dogs”. This was published in the UK Sep. 25th. The next day a coroner gave an interview to The Times speculating it might have been jackals or wolves. Arguing dogs would not carry bones away. Very scientific… Anyhow first british Papers than all the rest bring headlines “woman killed by wolves”. With more than a million stray dogs in Greece and no proves of anything it´s a shame that even the german minister of agriculture Christian Schmidt helps to spread this Fake. Only to “prove” that wolves need to be hunted which is of course not allowed according to the FFH directive.

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