Keeping Up with Conservation News
I remember as a student desperately trying to stay up to date with the latest conservation news to make my essays relevant and individual. I was feeling swamped by all the articles, news stories and journals I was advised to read regularly.
As I now move into a career in communications, keeping up with emerging stories is even more important to me. And for conservation practitioners, finding the time to study the latest research – which could have big impacts on their work in the field – is even trickier.
So, how can we stay up to date with conservation news without accumulating stacks of unread journals, multiple tabs of online articles to ‘read when I have a minute’ and feeling stressed every time another newsletter pops into our inbox?
Social media… with caution!
Many of us turn to social media to help us feel informed with a quick scroll while waiting for the bus or making a cup of tea/coffee. And social media is great for hearing about news as it happens! But it can be too easy to get distracted or stuck in an echo chamber.
It can be possible to avoid distractions by being very selective about only following accounts you find helpful and informative. Include a healthy balance of voices that are different from yours or don’t always agree with you to create a well-rounded news feed. Features such as , which filter your feed into different categories, can also be useful for compartmentalising your social media time into ‘work’ and ‘personal’.
Everyone is different, so finding a way of accessing news content that works for you is key. Some people thrive getting information from social media, while others (myself included!) find it a bit overwhelming to take in so many headlines and opinions in one go.
is an app that keeps updates from your favourite blogs, journals and news sites in one place until you’re ready to read them (the free version allows you to follow up to a hundred website feeds). I use it as an alternative to subscribing to newsletters because I feel like I can consciously choose when to log on to Feedly and take the time to look through my news feeds, separately from my emails.
Too busy to read?
Audio might be your answer! I often listen to podcasts and audiobooks when I’m doing chores around the house, commuting or doing admin tasks – there are so many opportunities to gain some knowledge through your ears! If you have access to a public library, they might have audiobooks available to borrow online.
For practitioners and researchers
Conservation Evidence is a free online resource that helps conservation practitioners make informed decisions. They do this by reviewing all the available research around each conservation action, summarising the evidence and making it easily and quickly accessible on the website.
Conservation Evidence is also helpful for researchers because their method identifies research gaps, where further studies would be beneficial for conservation on the ground.
A few favourites from the Conservation Careers team
I asked the Conservation Careers team for their favourite conservation news resources, and we came up with the following:
- Conservation Optimism
- BBC News wildlife conservation topic page
- The Conversation (search keywords like ‘conservation’, ‘wildlife’ or ‘biodiversity’)
- Hakai Magazine
- The Wildlife Society news
- African Conservation Foundation news
- The ‘News’ pages of many conservation organisations
- And the ‘News’ pages of many conservation societies
- Mongabay Newscast
- Hakai Magazine Audio Edition
- ZSL Wild Science Podcast
- and of course our Conservation Careers podcast!
And finally, the obvious but often forgotten…
Chat to your peers! Set aside some time – even if it’s just over a lunch break, between meetings or online – to talk to your colleagues about news in your field. Ask their opinions on the latest headlines, what they’re reading at the moment and how they stay up to date with the industry. And check in with how they’re doing; one of the most important things to keep in touch with is the people around us.
I hope some of these ideas have taken the stress out of keeping up with conservation news for you. Remember that we’re here because we’re passionate about conservation and love learning about the natural world around us – so it should be fun!
Author Profile | Jenna Woodford
Jenna is a freelance writer, poet and natural sciences graduate. Wildlife and conservation are at the heart of their work, and they aim to make nature more accessible through their writing. To view their portfolio or read their blog, visit Jenna’s website.