The media is failing the hard locked-down communities of western Sydney with a journalism of irrelevance that privileges open-mic rants about open Bunnings stores, mask-less eastern-suburbs beaches and city curfews. 

It needs an urgent pivot to a reporting that breaks through the blinkers of pre-fab narratives about lockdowns too hard, too soft, too slow, too fast to focus on the hard economics of the people who work in the industries that sustain our cities and the marginal lives that confront many families.

Right now, the western Sydney Delta outbreak is setting up as the first real-life test case of how an increasingly national news media will manage big moments in the news deserts in Australia’s suburbs. So far? It’s an F.