‘As divided as the world became, we really were all in it together, and journalists made it our business to communicate the challenges of all sectors of society. Perhaps this book will communicate ours.’ Tracy Grimshaw, television presenter
‘These essential essays chart the COVID inflection point, plumbing and explaining the turbulence that now surrounds our shared space of news and information.’ Hugh Riminton, foreign correspondent
‘The pandemic presented a medical, political, logistical and emotional upheaval all at once, which in some ways fundamentally changed the way journalists do our jobs.’ Amelia Adams, 60 Minutes reporter and former senior US correspondent, Nine Network
If journalism is the first draft of history, what will it say about COVID?
The COVID-19 pandemic ripped through the world with no regard for borders, age, status or wealth. It was brutal in its impact and created a raft of new social norms. And without warning, the pandemic changed journalism, in some ways irrevocably.
This arresting collection of essays from some of Australia’s top media minds examines how the pandemic altered the news. Some changes accelerated shifts already underway, such as the rise of user-generated content, the weaponising of disinformation, and the demand for data journalism. Other changes were unexpected, such as the emergence of the home-based expert and a story with a very, very long tail. Many reporters were forced to write, file and broadcast from home. Numbers took on a new importance. And every day, journalists had to find new ways to tell the same story, one they too were living through.
With contributors including Stan Grant, Michelle Grattan, David Speers, Alan Kohler, Lisa Millar and Dr Norman Swan, Pandemedia takes readers behind the scenes of Australia’s media organisations to give a firsthand perspective on the new reign of the fourth estate.
Gavin Fang is one of Australia’s most experienced news executives, with 25 years in print and broadcast journalism. He led the ABC’s news teams during the pandemic. A former foreign correspondent, he is deputy director of ABC News.