OneOcean Response Room Briefing – Edition #4

Date: 6th May 2020

The OneOcean team has been working on a weekly media analysis – the OneOcean Response Room briefing – that looks at the intersections between COVID-19 and environment content, the environment and ocean content, and ocean and COVID-19 content on both legacy and social media.

During the COVID-19 situation, it is important to understand the kind of conversations that are taking place, what is resonating with people and why, to ensure that our communication is as impactful as possible and – at the very least – does no harm in this sensitive time. 

The briefing provides recommendations and example materials which reflect the findings from our analysis. Find to follow a summary of the top-line findings of this week’s briefing, covering 20-26 April, 2020.

The full OneOcean Response Room weekly briefing and supporting analysis is available to Flotilla members. If your organisation is interested in receiving this briefing, is not a member and interested in joining, please email travis@oceanprotect.org.

Summary of findings

This week the discussion on the environment, the ocean and COVID-19 took place very much on legacy media, while social media was notably quieter after the surge in content around Earth Day the week before.

Legacy media coverage of the environment, the ocean and COVID-19 intersection this week was fragmented in topic, but robust in quantity. There is currently a strong appetite for pandemic-framed articles on the environment that were based in scientific evidence and studies. These relate to the impact of lockdown on the environment, the general impact of human activity on the planet, and how/why environmental policies should be incorporated into economic recovery in a post-COVID world.

There has also been notable traction in coverage of credible, authoritative voices on the incorporation of environmental protection into economic stimulus measures. Of particular note is an article published by IPBES report authors entitled ‘COVID-19 Stimulus Measures Must Save Lives, Protect Livelihoods, and Safeguard Nature to Reduce the Risk of Future Pandemics’, which received significant coverage in mainstream media in the UK and appeared to rejuvenate interest in the original May 2019 report.

Social media was markedly quieter on environmental conversations. Although it is not possible to know the exact cause, it is possible that the more nuanced and detailed nature of many environmental articles made them harder to latch onto for social media. 

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