The Fifth Estate
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State of Emergence
There is little doubt now that the COVID-19 coronavirus will drastically alter our lives, communities and societies for some time to come. Amid confusing, contradictory or misleading information about how we should respond – and how we should protect ourselves and each other – the pandemic has already tested our social fabric. How the crisis will affect our healthcare, economic and political systems is yet to be understood, but we appear to be approaching a major reckoning.
‘The funny thing about this is it’s Spanish Flu, the Great Depression and the Second World War all wrapped into one.’
So, how can we make sense of it all? What kinds of measured, long-term perspectives can we bring to the constant, rapidly-shifting flow of news updates and band-aid measures?
In a special live-streamed edition of The Fifth Estate, journalist George Megalogenis joins host Sally Warhaft for a careful analysis of our precarious present and the future that may follow. Drawing on lessons from the past – including the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, post-World War II unemployment and more – they consider what the compounding challenges of the coronavirus will mean for our national character, for different workers and citizens, and for our political era. How will we be changed?
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George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
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The Fifth Estate
The important stories of the day – off the front pages.
Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.