OneOcean Response Room Briefing – Edition #6

Date: 20th 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 11-17 May, 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’s analysis has indicated a widening of discussions around the economy and the environment in a post-COVID-19 world. While coverage of government policy and economic recovery plans remains strong and increasingly detailed, there has also been an increase in this discussion in business-focused outlets and publications with a considerable business audience. A particular topic emerging from the data this week was around Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) or ‘sustainable investing’ in the post-COVID-19 world.

Coverage of the impact of lockdown on nature has now transitioned into a full focus on the adverse impacts on the environment. Where positive impacts are mentioned, this is being used as a hook to move into warnings about the impermanent and fragile nature of the change.

The ‘people versus planet’ framing was still present, however with no noticeable increase in volume this week. As with last week, there were a couple of examples of the extreme ends of the counter-environment argument penetrating the mainstream media. On the other end of the economic debate, the data picked up on reference to a ‘degrowth’ movement, emphasising a reduction of production and consumption and a focus on a socially-just and ecologically-sustainable society. We will continue to monitor these trends.

On social media, there was very much a continuation of previous themes around animal content and missing nature. We also saw a rise in hostile voices resulting from Greta Thunberg’s appearance on a CNN COVID-19 programme.

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