Crisis communication and COVID-19: Covering two Pacific tragedies with storytelling

Keywords: communication ecology, coronavirus, COVID-19, covid journalism, crisis communication, health journalism, infodemic, journalism, media ecology, pandemic, public health, storytelling, vaccine hesitancy


Commentary: Frontline journalism in the age of COVID-19 has posed particular challenges in dealing with personal risk, tackling an ‘infodemic’ of misinformation, and providing valuable news that can be used in vulnerable Pacific countries that have struggled with soaring infections and limited health infrastructure and resources. Five Pacific countries or territories have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic—Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste. This article introduces two examples of public health storytelling in crisis communication, one being a pregnant Papua New Guinea woman who walked 25 kilometres to the nearest hospital—and died on reaching her destination; the other a pregnant Fijian nurse who died after battling COVID-19.  


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Author Biography

David Robie, Pacific Journalism Review

Founding Editor of Pacific Journalism Review and former Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism

School of Communication Studies

Auckland University of Technology


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How to Cite
Robie, D. (2021). Crisis communication and COVID-19: Covering two Pacific tragedies with storytelling. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 27(1 & 2), 11-21.