OneOcean Response Room Briefing – Edition #12

Date: 5th August 2020

The OneOcean team has been working on a fortnightly 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 20th July – 2nd August, 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

The past two weeks have seen a reduction in the volume of articles at the COVID-19, environment and ocean intersection. The articles that appeared in the data processing were scattered in topic and appear to be reflective of a broader flattening of the news landscape, which is likely due to the northern hemisphere entering an (albeit somewhat altered) summer vacation period.

Plastics remained a dominant topic in the analysis, both through its multiple links to the pandemic (face mask litter, use of re-usable cups and bags, plastics legislation) and in relation to the publication of a global plastic report from SYSTEMIQ and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Coverage of how to protect the environment in a post-COVID-19 world made up a significant proportion of the content but was fragmented in theme. Many pieces looked at the macro-level argument, some articles examined national recovery packages in detail, while others considered local and national efforts to protect the environment.

Broadly speaking, stand-alone scientific pieces appear to have done particularly well in getting coverage over the past two weeks, with a wide range of scientific content including species specific pieces and explorations of the impact of rising global temperatures.

On social media, there was a relatively high volume of coverage at the COVID-19 environment intersection in the past two weeks. Posts continue to draw parallels between the pandemic and the climate crisis – in terms of severity and level of response required. There was also considerable conversation around the illegal wildlife trade in the data, in particular around how better wildlife conservation could help to prevent future pandemics.

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