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Aaron McKinnon- A local thinking globally.

May 2022 Newsletter

Santa Cruz native Aaron McKinnon grew up in the waters in the Monterey Bay, swimming, paddling, diving, and surfing. As a young person, he was more interested in being outside and making videos at the skate park than sitting at a desk in school. Who knew his passion for storytelling would lead him to become an advocate for wildlife and nature? After graduating from the University of Hamburg in 2019 with a MA in Journalism, he found the perfect career path with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Italy. Combining his passions and expertise as a Science Communication Supervisor, he works directly with scientists and helps communicate their ideas into actionable policy.

Aaron Mckinnon- Journalism Needs to Get Political about Plastic Pollution: French vs US Approaches

Aaron's research has focused on plastic marine debris and climate change policy for the past ten years. One of his first articles examined the policy fallout that resulted from journalists who appropriated the misleading metaphors “garbage patch” and “trash island” to describe the accumulation of plastic particles in the world’s five oceanic articles. His second article focused on the misdirected individualistic solutions advocated by American journalists. The issue of marine debris has become popularized by the news media and lifestyle brands within the last few years, and he hopes his research instigates a more critical and evidence-based discussion of policy-driven initiatives that drive industry solutions. The article linked above offers a first look into journalistic coverage on the enduring issue of marine litter. The presented study sought to identify dominating news issue frames of marine pollution to analyze the prospective approaches of journalists.

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