FEED issue 27 Web

58 OVER THE TOP What next?

Words by Neal Romanek

The coronavirus is going to change the media industry – and the world

to weather major national and international crises. But even in those countries with well-supported civil infrastructure, Covid-19 is going to leave quite an impact crater. No one can predict exactly how things will play out, but there are some things we should be ready for. ANOTHER WORLD We have to accept that the post-Covid-19 world is going to be a new one. There has been some talk of ‘when things go back to normal.’ My hunch is that we are not going to be able to go back to anything. There will be the pre-coronavirus world and the post- coronavirus world – each with its different rules and governing forces. The virus, and the steps needed to curb it, have already brought substantial economic devastation. In our webinar in March, FEED covered how media and entertainment freelancers were being hit hard – this was from only the first couple of weeks of the lockdown in the UK. Production is being postponed and crew from every part of the industry are hurting. When productions do pick up again – and they will, but probably not with the frequency we’re used to – industry talent across the board are going to be in a very different position. They are going to be hungry to take any kind of work that will get them back into employment, which is going to make them subject to exploitation.

REMOTE WORKING Post-pandemic, new ways of working is a given, but is working from our kitchens the answer?

y the time you read this, Europe will probably (hopefully) be past its peak of the Covid-19 emergency, and some of the

early-hit Asian countries will be dealing with the aftermath, treading cautiously lest there’s another outbreak. Other parts of the world, including the most vulnerable and those countries without health care, will be in major crisis mode. There is much about the coronavirus pandemic that has been surprising, but what is most remarkable is that this was expected. Scientists have been saying for decades that we should get ready for the next, long overdue, pandemic. Considering much of the northern hemisphere hasn’t had a catastrophic viral outbreak since the Aids crisis developed in the 1980s, maybe the most appropriate feeling should be amazement that we got away with it for as long as we did. The pandemic – again, no surprise – has confirmed that the free market does not excel at securing the welfare of citizens. Civic institutions, set up by people, for people, need to be well-supplied, well- prepared and respected, if countries expect

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