OneOcean Response Room Briefing – Edition #10

Date: 8th July 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 22nd June – 5th July, 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

Legacy media coverage over the past two weeks has seen a continued decrease in the volume of content at the COVID-19, environment and ocean intersection. Once again, coverage of the ocean appears to have fallen out of legacy media almost completely, beyond reports on personal protective equipment as a contributor to ocean plastic.

Economic recovery and environmental protection are still the dominant themes of data analysis; however, there has been a general reduction in the energy of the debate and an increase in the pervasive negative tone identified in the last briefing. Focus on individual country and sector plans for economic recovery and bailouts is increasingly detailed, with plans and actions generally appearing not to live up to previously expressed aspirations for environmental protection.

The past two weeks have seen a number of opinion polls and studies around public attitudes towards what is being dubbed a ‘green recovery’, suggesting that the increased appetite for environmental protection identified among the general public in the lockdown period remains strong. However, there are some cautions that prioritising the environment in a way that adds economic strain to voters could risk causing a backlash against those setting the policies.

On social media, the decrease in overall volume of discussion and fragmentation of conversation topic was also reflected, with plastics again as the main ocean-related topic. On Instagram, there is low-level continuation of the ‘appreciating nature’ theme.

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