The Australian media has settled on the tag for this summer’s fires: they’re “unprecedented”. But it's been slower to recognise the unprecedented demands this places on the job the media needs to be doing.
It’s taken a couple of months, but the climate crisis is now centred in the public’s understanding of the fires. Yet the media has been slow to centre this in its reporting of the disaster; to pair the coverage of the daily drama with an analysis of the underlying climate trend.
Because of its charter imperative to cover stories whether they occur in a commercially viable market or not, the ABC grasped more quickly than others the scale of the crisis and had the resources to respond accordingly.