Asia Pacific Media Educator


This commentary examines the broad discourse of crises and crisis reporting/journalism in Australia (and parts of Southeast Asia) during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome health crisis of 2003. It looks at how definitions of crisis/es and crisis journalism were invoked in media reports and broader discourse around the mysterious illness, which was eventually termed ‘SARS’. It then considers how Australia and the Australian media, although not a country closely affected as far as victims or casualties were concerned, dealt with SARS. This, we suggest, holds insights for journalism practitioners and researchers in the wayhow we approach and think about crises, especially health crises.