Skip to main content
Palgrave Macmillan

Communicating COVID-19

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

  • Book
  • © 2021


  • Examines the global communicative landscape during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in a range of interdisciplinary contexts
  • Engages with the complex media environment and how it intersects with the controversial political, sociocultural, and public health communication of COVID-19
  • Interrogates, challenges and critiques a wide range of global contexts while exploring the unique localised knowledge and communicative experiences of the COVID pandemic

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this book

eBook USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access

Licence this eBook for your library

Institutional subscriptions

Table of contents (18 chapters)

  1. News Media at the Coalface: Reporting COVID-19


About this book

This book explores communication during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring the work of leading communication scholars from around the world, it offers insights and analyses into how individuals, organisations, communities, and nations have grappled with understanding and responding to the pandemic that has rocked the world. The book examines the role of journalists and news media in constructing meanings about the pandemic, with chapters focusing on public interest journalism, health workers and imagined audiences in COVID-19 news. It considers public health responses in different countries, with chapters examining community-driven approaches, communication strategies of governments and political leaders, public health advocacy, and pandemic inequalities. The role of digital media and technology is also unravelled, including social media sharing of misinformation and memetic humour, crowdsourcing initiatives, the use of data in modelling, tracking and tracing, and strategies for managing uncertainties created in a pandemic.


“While written in the early stages of the pandemic, the wide-ranging Communicating COVID-19: Interdisciplinary Perspectives offers key observations. The volume demonstrates that the rhetoric during the pandemic was largely shaped by each country’s government and tailored to what each saw as their primary goal. … These results are a strong reminder for journalism academics to re-explore the great variety of ways health messages can be brought across to the public and to re-examine critically the effects of news source selection.” (Beate Josephi, Australian Journalism Review, Vol. 44 (1), 2022)

“It is refreshing to read frank accounts of the negatives and difficult challenges of public communication and how these can be addressed, rather than glowing accounts of the importance and success of communication that characterizes many collections of case studies. This is an often raw and provocative collection of studies worthy of the attention of journalism and media studies scholars, health communication researchers and professionals, and public health officials.” (Jim Macnamara, International Journal of Communication, Issue 16, 2022)

'An invaluable document of COVID-19’s media life, which offers a richly nuanced examination of COVID-19 news journalism, public facing health sector communications and social media.  Communicating COVID-19 is a touchstone for the emerging field of pandemic media.'

- Mark D M Davis, Monash University, Australia, co-author of Pandemics, Publics and Narrative (2020)

'As governments and scientists scrambled to find solutions in the face of grave uncertainty created by COVID-19, there was a massive public demand for information. Filling this communication gap is the focus of this must-read, timely book, which includes excellent scholarly contributions from across the globe.'

- Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Professor in Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia University, USA, and Associate Scientific Director at CAPRISA

'Communicating COVID-19 takes on a global event in a truly global way, bringing together perspectives on pandemic communication from a wide range of national contexts.  It makes a powerful case for the centrality of communication in the social response to the pandemic, and brings substantial early research to bear on issues related to journalistic practice and ethics, inequality and voice and uncertainty in the face of an emerging disease.'

- Daniel Hallin, Distinguished Professor, University of California, San Diego

Editors and Affiliations

  • Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

    Monique Lewis

  • Culture, Communication and Media Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

    Eliza Govender

  • News & Media Research Centre, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia

    Kate Holland

About the editors

Monique Lewis is a communications scholar, sociologist, and lecturer in media and communication at Griffith University, Australia, and a member of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research.

Eliza Govender is Associate Professor and Head of Department of the Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS), University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Kate Holland is Senior Research Fellow in the News & Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra, Australia. 

Bibliographic Information

Publish with us