The Fifth Estate: 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.
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?
‘The funny thing about this is it’s Spanish Flu, the Great Depression and the second World War all wrapped into one.’
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 is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. 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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