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Environment news doesn’t have to be bad news – with the right facts and advice for action

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The Ocean Desk news feed, together with the Raw Oceans podcast, aim to highlight marine news stories from multiple sectors and make them accessible to a non-specialist audience, empowering people to take affirmative action.

We can’t expect marine biology and ecology research papers to make the wider news agenda. Ocean-related news stories that do punch through are often siloed within Science and only on occasion do they cut-through to the mainstream agenda – usually when it’s too late to do anything about it.

To help keep important stories from sinking, Ocean Desk staff analyse hundreds of feeds to select the most compelling ocean research and specialist news stories. We then edit or re-write for a social media based audience – our stories are ruthlessly short but hit the main points, with tight copy and as many illustrations as possible.

Our aim is keep awareness of our oceans within the consciousness of an audience that wouldn’t choose want to read scientific papers or specialist articles about it – which is pretty much all of us.

The world is awash in information and we can feel powerless in the face of apparently immovable forces. We research bite-sized fact sheets directly related to the news story, then (if applicable) we offer some practical advice on how to take action.

If you have a story then please contact us via the contact form and we’ll get in touch.

Julian Powis, editor (11/04/2020)

A note from the editor

Julian Powis

I’m Jules, a marine biologist by training who’s worked in national broadcast media, digital media and advertising. I have a keen interest in marine issues and the way they are communicated.

Every day my social media news feed is chock full of depressing stories about the oceans and wildlife, little of which I can do anything about. I’ve ended up just swiping past them all because I can’t take the endless parade of depressing headlines and images.

I created Ocean Desk to build more of what I wanted to see:

  • A balance between the bad eco-news and more optimistic news of potential solutions
  • Stories that tell me about some new scientific paper is in simple terms – with lots of pictures
  • Shorter news stories, social media has ruined my span of attention
  • Better context through bite-sized background information
  • All the main ocean stories in one place, not scattered around dozens of specialist websites
  • Some tips on taking action myself, what can I do personally about the story I’ve just read?

I want Ocean Desk to empower people to become informed and take action for our oceans, to engage people who normally would be turned off by “science stuff” and encourage them to make a small difference in thier actions and choices.

I’ve been freelance for 10 years but don’t have any clients since Coronavirus, so this is what I do all day now, plus study online courses so I can do it better.

You can Buy Me a Coffee to help support the site.

DISCLAIMER: We try to breathe new life into complex stories about our oceans by making them accessible and engaging to a wider audience, this can involve removing between 50 – 90 per cent of the original word count of the study/paper/article. This kind of ruthless precis will always remove certain findings or aspects of the original document, however we are laser-focused on reproducing the main points within context and always cite the original source of any material that we’ve edited and re-written.