It seems like many of us plan our days around the time of Victoria’s daily presser, at which we learn the numbers of infections and deaths; and if we want to know, the issues and epidemiology.
I’ve used a light hearted pic, because….COVID19 humour and what else do we have…. but the press conferences are long, up to an hour and a half, and with a combination of speakers.
The Premier, coming up to 40 days straight, pledges to stay and answer the reporters’ questions until they’ve exhausted the topic/s and ‘gotten what they need’.
There’s a rhythm to it now. Media advisers could alternatively be relieved and exhausted at the amount of pre-briefing work and potential clarifications post.
It’s an all in pile on that evens a competitive playing field, but as the ‘real news’ or ‘exclusives’ are kept behind the scenes until they break, the lengthy pressers also provide opportunity for repetitive questioning. The answers are often just as long and repetitive, full of the same words we’ve heard over and over, and little more substance.
Unless Twitter, as a harbinger of doom, flags or leaks the news that the presser topics might impact my work or personal life, I’ve started turning off after the first initial five minutes.
I heard again this week the question about Christmas and what that would look like for us this year. The Premier simply repeated an earlier line he’d used ‘it will look different for all of us’. But it sent chills down my spine.
Journalists, like the community, have a job to do here.
While not asking for a crystal ball, without an articulated, stepped out and understood plan, full of potential consequences and scenarios both good and bad, there is little for journalists to go on; little for community to go on.
There is little light at the end of any tunnel when the tunnel is full of darkness and threats only.
We’d like to think that ‘do the right thing and we’ll get there together’ works as a strategy. It’s too simplistic.
There has to be time for strategic and forward planning. Recovery is – hopefully – going to come at us fast and we must be ready. Currently, we’re all just living in confusion, fear and hope.