510 ACES Funk Library
1101 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Sep 22, 2011
Excellent global conference of agricultural journalists. Hearty thanks to members of the Canadian Farm Writers' Federation for hosting an excellent 2011 Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in Ontario this month.
ACDC associates Karlie Elliott Bowman and Jim Evans were among those who took part. We in the Center are pleased to support the professional development mission of IFAJ in two special ways. During the past five years we have prepared and coordinated dozens of features for posting in the Professional Development section of the IFAJ website. Also, during the past year the Center has coordinated what is now the monthly IFAJ newsletter, with Karlie serving as editor.
Four core challenges to Extension. We have added to the ACDC collection a presentation from the 2010 Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development. Magdalena L. Blum of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations emphasized four core challenges to extension and advisory services:
You can view the visual presentation here.
Will better understanding of gene technology improve public acceptance of it? Not likely, according to results of a recent study reported in Science Communication. Research in Switzerland led researchers Melanie Connor and Michael Siegrist to conclude: "Based on our results, we have serious doubts as to whether educating the public about gene technology or gene technology modules in biology teaching would result in higher levels of acceptance of this technology." Three main factors appeared as important in predicting people's acceptance of gene technology applications:
This does not mean that the public should not be informed about gene technology, the researchers added. "Providing information is necessary and may reduce misconceptions."
"Surprisingly, potato farmers are using more electronic technology than university students." That report came recently from two University of Idaho researchers. They surveyed 215 persons in four groups - two classes of agriculture college students and two groups of potato growers who attended educational programs. Regression analyses of responses about awareness and use of 21 electronic technologies showed that:
Authors of the report offered six implications for Extension practitioners.
Issues facing journalists in rural northwestern Pakistan. "The state of journalism in FATA" is the title of a conference report we added recently to the ACDC collection. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) includes seven tribal agencies and six adjacent frontier regions in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Most of the largely rural population depends on forestry, livestock and crops for subsistence. This report describes the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ), which "has struggled for the protection of journalists in an area where press laws do not exist." The report summarizes a consultative dialogue among national and TUJ journalists to:
A second Dark Age coming - when the digital data die. One of the communications books we reviewed recently has no special agriculture dimension. However, being especially interested in information to help "feed the future," we took interest in Dark Ages II: when the digital data die.
The United States, said author Bryan Bergeron, "is poised to enter a second Dark Ages - a time when what we leave behind will be viewed as negligible compared to the previous centuries. Although the causes are very different from those that precipitated Europe's Dark Ages, we are gambling…"
He was referring, of course, to the fragility and limited lifetimes of media platforms, machines, infrastructure, software and data - even microfilm, the current standard for archival purposes. Risks of information management and preservation easily keep us up at night, even as we mirror approaches of the University Library system of which we are a part.
You can read a review of the book here.
Communicator activities approaching
More rural humor floating around the Web. We close this issue of ACDC News with several puns showing an agricultural tinge. Did you launch these on the Internet?
Best regards and good searching.
Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.