An empty Sydney Opera House forecourt due to Australia’s ban on international travel

25 January 2021 marks a year since the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in Australia. As part of a social history I am writing of the first year of the COVID crisis in Australia, I have been investigating how Australian press outlets first reported on the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. As sociologists and media studies researchers have shown, the ways in which news reports ‘frame’ new health risks are important to publics’ understandings and feelings of personal risk, particularly in the early stages when few other information sources are available.

Major infectious disease outbreaks are highly newsworthy. In Australia…

Deborah Lupton

SHARP Professor and leader of the Vitalities Lab, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney

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