In 2019, New York Times journalist Ian Urbina published The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier about crime and extralegal activity in international waters. Topics covered include illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, modern slavery and violent crime committed at sea, as well of the work of organizations, governments and companies in international waters.
Our research team was brought in to evaluate the impact of the book on audience knowledge and attitudes toward the issues raised in the publication. Through an analysis of posts, dialogues and conversations on social media, our report acknowledged a positive reception toward the topics included in the book and increased awareness of crime at sea.
This research was funded by OceanKind.
The Norman Lear Center's Media Impact Project researches how entertainment and news influence our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and actions. We work with researchers, the film and TV industry, nonprofits, and news organizations, and share our research with the public. We are part of the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.