COVID-19 dissensus in Australia: Negotiating uncertainty in public health communication and media commentary on a novel pandemic

  • Arjun Rajkhowa University of Melbourne
Keywords: Australia, COVID-19, media commentary, New Zealand, pandemics, public health communication, health journalism, science


The emergence of an epidemic or pandemic presents significant challenges for public health communication. The shifting and uncertain nature of an epidemic or pandemic necessitates a dynamic communication strategy. However, negotiating uncertainty and information gaps can be challenging for both government and media. This commentary focuses on two aspects of selected Australian media commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic: media commentators’ negotiation of gaps in the available information about the pandemic and commentators’ assessment of perceived initial inconsistency in the government’s public health messaging. It analyses how a perceived inability to reconcile gaps in the expert advice can be interpreted by media commentators as an indication of public health communication failure.


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How to Cite
Rajkhowa, A. (2020). COVID-19 dissensus in Australia: Negotiating uncertainty in public health communication and media commentary on a novel pandemic . Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 26(1), 253-263.
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