Keeping Abreast of the News

keeping abreast of the news

Whether you know what is going on or not, news keeps happening. It can be vital that seafarers are kept informed about what is going on beyond their own vessel…knowledge of news is hugely important. Let’s explore why…



As a busy maritime professional the chances are that you started your morning, after the usual ablutions and breakfast of course, with a dose of daily news. You may have switched on the TV, been listening to the radio, scrolling through online news or even picked up a newspaper?

Whatever your chosen media, you are very likely to have consumed news, somehow and in some way. Your job may even involve having to react to news, or understanding the implications. You may even be professionally tied to events, let alone having just a passing interest.

Without really thinking about it, the tone of your day has been set by the news around you. Disasters which could affect your company, plunges in stock prices, or even strange pronouncements by political leaders, through to the latest results from your chosen sports team.

The news shapes you, and you may not even know it. It also shapes those around you, your company, colleagues, family and friends. The news is a reflection of what is happening, and so it is important to keep abreast and informed.


Engineer at sea

This need to engage with news and to keep informed is one thing ashore, but still, even in the modern age it can be difficult for seafarers to have the same levels of input. Though this can easily be remedied.

Just like those working ashore, seafarers can benefit in exactly the same way from having access to trusted news, and to being informed about current affairs and events globally.

Having access to news is not just a nice to have, it is a really important part of a person’s professional and personal development. People who are better informed make all kinds of better decisions.

Seafarers with access to news are able to feel connected, and feel less isolated. So there are also very real wellness and mental health benefits to being in touch with events going on around the world.


Breaking news

The news is important – it is a snapshot of what is happening. It can have an effect on the way people respond, and to the actions they have to take. As a seafarer away from home it can be reassuring to know what is happening. Even if there are problems, it can also allow them to process information and decide how best to deal with it.

In the fallout of Super Typhoon Yolanda, which devastated the Philippines, it was vitally important that crews working away were kept informed about what was happening back at home. Expecting seafarers to have their heads in the sand, or to be kept away from news is unrealistic and unfair.

Having access to current events and up-to-date information is perhaps even more important in the rapidly and constantly changing modern world. Without regular access to news, could be unaware of the various events taking place, both locally and around the world, that have an impact on their lives.

This is not healthy, and so there is a moral duty to keep seafarers informed. This is especially true as new generations begin their careers at sea. People who are used to an almost constant stream of news will not react well to being disconnected.


Here are seven key reasons that access to news and current affairs is important for seafarers…

1. Human Focus: News and current affairs can be important to people in different ways. First up, of course, the news could affect someone directly. Again, Typhoon Yolanda, was a great illustration of this. Seafarers need to be kept informed of important events, especially if it impacts their lives and the safety of those at home.

2. It is good for conversation: There is much criticism that seafarers are too insular while onboard, and there is no longer a real sense of community. Well access to news is very good for sparking conversation. If something big has happened in the news then this is a sure fire way to fire up engagement onboard. Anything which helps to foster healthy debates or discussions onboard is positive.

3. News is interesting: Life at sea can be tedious at times. So having access to news to read is a really important way of providing stimulus and interest for seafarers.

4. Keeps Seafarers Connected: Seafarers can be isolated, there can also be danger that those who work at sea can be some kind of second class citizens if they are not given access to news or information that many others take for granted. If seafarers are to be part of the global community, then access to news is a vitally important part of this.

5. Build informed opinions: Gaining knowledge in world affairs and current events allows people to grow and evolve. So, giving seafarers the opportunity to keep abreast of events, and to have their own opinions is a positive way of supporting development.

6. Enhance Professionalism: People who know more tend to think more, and they in turn make for better professionals. Competition from professionals in the global market place is growing. Displaying a broad understanding of international affairs and current events is a part of the arsenal of the maritime professional, whether at sea or ashore.

7. Improve language skills: reading the news can also improve language skills. There are many seafarers who can benefit from improving their English, and having access to reading materials, particularly the news can be a positive part of the training regime.

What do you think? Do you think news is important, and does it impact life onboard ship? Are there times when reading news has helped you with a crisis? Let us hear your thoughts…

About Chris Watson 65 Articles
Chris is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for KVH Industries. A lifelong sailor and storyteller, he's a self-professed geek who finds all of this technical stuff fascinating.