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510 Funk ACES Library
1101 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Jun 3, 2014
Starving for agriculture coverage
Canadians are starving for agriculture coverage, Marilee Devries reported in the Spring 2014 issue of Ryerson Review of Journalism. "If food is the world's most essential industry," she asked, "why have newspapers forsaken the farm?"
"The quality of agriculture reporting in the urban press is like a wheat crop infected with fusarium head blight," Devries observed. Her article explored trends in agriculture reporting by newspapers in Canada, causes of slippage and results for citizens and the entire country. She concluded:
"Now Canadian journalists must find a way to tell theAg story, because it's more than nice-to-know information. It's the story of something the whole country—and the whole world—needs: food."
You can read this article at: http://www.rrj.ca/m28589
2014 survey of U. S. consumer perceptions of food technology
The 16th edition of this survey by the International Food Information Council is now available. It is based on a survey of 1,000 U. S. adults, weighted on gender, age, race, education, marital status, region, and income. Among the key findings reported:
You can read an executive summary of the survey report at: http://www.foodinsight.org/foodtechsurvey.aspx
Provide "well-written journalism and accurate facts"—in any medium
Chris Brune, executive director of American Horse Publications, made that point in a recent newsletter commentary we have added to the ACDC collection. A brand can be anything, she emphasized, including a print publication.
"Publishers are the communicators in the equine world. It is your responsibility to provide the horse community with well-written journalism and accurate facts that can be delivered quickly when necessary or with inspiration and beauty for posterity."
You can read this thoughtful commentary at: http://www.americanhorsepubs.org/communication/newsletter_archive
Click on the October/November 2013 issue and scroll to "Writing for the brand."
Protest videos fall short of potential
Researcher Catherine Collins found a major gap in narrative when she examined videos on YouTube about managing old-growth timber in the U.S. and Tasmania, Australia.
"Most videos discussed here do little to explain why one's values and interests should be accepted," she reported. "Arguments to support one's position or refute one's opponent's claims are seldom presented; the protest videos celebrate or denigrate protest without arguing for the rationale behind their position." She argued that such videos "must articulate shared values and compelling reasons for cooperation and joint action, and they must offer well-crafted narratives that have coherence and fidelity for the viewers."
Check with us at email@example.com if you would like help in gaining access to this case study in the 2013 book, Environmental conflict and the media.
Mobile phone—helping disadvantaged farmers more than those better off
A rural e-service project in India involved special mobile phones carried by young assistants traveling with extension agents in the villages. An assistant used the phone to generate images and audio messaging about the issue or question facing a given farmer, then pass them on to an agricultural scientist for response. Among the findings:
You can read this 2012 research report at: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/handle/126798
View entries for IFAJ Star Prize in Photography
The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists is displaying more than 80 photos entered in the 2014 Star Prize for Photography. These images captured by photographers throughout the world fit into three categories: nature, people, and production. Winning entries will be recognized during the IFAJ Congress in Scotland during September.
You can view the IFAJ Star Prize in Photography entries at: http://www.ifaj.org/contests-awards/photo-contest/2014.html
Farm broadcasters preparing for an anniversary
We enjoyed seeing Tom Brand, Executive Director of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, and NAFB Historian Mike Adams when they visited the NAFB Archives here on May 20. They are scouting for materials to feature during the 70th Anniversary Celebration of NAFB later this year.
NAFB has an excellent collection of historical materials, which are maintained in the University of Illinois Archives. If you are interested in learning what they include, you can visit the detailed, online finding aid at: http://archives.library.illinois.edu/archon/index.php?p=core/search&subjectid=3155
You can also identify hundreds of these archived documents by using the ACDC online search system at: http://library.illinois.edu/funkaces/acdc. Some years ago we reviewed the NAFB Archives and identified resources that reveal innovations, impact, issues, and other developments in U. S. farm broadcasting.
Communicator activities approaching
Breath-taking writing skills
Those of us who teach agricultural journalism and communications pay great attention to helping students improve their writing. We close this issue of ACDC News with an unusual suggestion. It comes from Marilyn Johnson in The Dead Beat, her book featuring "the lost souls, lucky stiffs and perverse pleasures of obituaries." Noting one especially-engrossing obituary, she observed:
"It's almost impossible to teach that sort of writing except by pointing students to a stack of clips and telling them, 'Inhale these'."
Best wishes and good searching.
Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. 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, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to firstname.lastname@example.org