ACDC News – Issue 09-08

UK shoppers increasingly interested in animal welfare. Continuing research by IGD, United Kingdom, suggests that British shoppers are becoming increasingly engaged with standards of animal welfare when they buy food. This trend is apparent across five years of responses from shoppers.

  • 20% of shoppers said in 2009 that knowing about the standards of animal welfare has become one of their key drivers for product choice. This is up from 8% in 2005, 10% in 2006, 11% in 2007 and 13% in 2008.
  • 46% of shoppers said in 2009 they were concerned about animal living conditions. This is up from 30% in 2005 and 2006, 37% in 2007 and 38% in 2008.

Citation: Interest in animal welfare still increasing
Posted at: > Media Centre

Rural radio serials. Old fashioned? Think again . Thanks to Neil Inall of Australia for alerting us to a recent television feature emphasizing how “drama has been/is a top way to improve knowledge and to bring about behaviour change.” The feature was aired early this year on “Landline,” weekly Australian Broadcasting Corporation program about matters rural.

The featured guest, ABC rural journalist Ingrid Just, had won a Churchill scholarship to study radio serials in the United Kingdom and USA. She became acquainted with Britain’s much loved BBC rural radio serial, “The Archers.” In Iowa she took part in a serials workshop. Now, she says, “it is time the ABC was once again a world leader in the production of radio drama serials.”

The ACDC collection contains much evidence, internationally, to support Ingrid’s belief in the enduring effectiveness of radio as a powerful means of communicating about rural life, people and activities. Radio drama can capture the power of imagination.

Script posted at
“Play video” option available.

Who does what in addressing rural-urban matters. You can get a perspective by visiting the web site of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ). “Sorting the roles of journalists and other communicators in covering rural-urban issues” is the third in a series by Owen Roberts of the University of Guelph and Jim Evans of the University of Illinois. Here are some questions they addressed:

  • What do journalists affiliated with independent commercial media see as their roles in covering rural-urban matters?
  • What are the roles of journalists and communicators who represent interests wishing to advance points of view about such matters?
  • Have these roles changed, or are they changing?
  • Do independent and point-of-view communicators share some roles? If so, what?

Authors say they found this a tough assignment, both challenging and enlightening. And important. They invite the thoughts and ideas of others.

Posted at > Breaking News Section

Lessons in democracy from local weekly newspapers. Economic threats to newspapers and other news media are putting the U.S. democratic society at risk, an agricultural journalism professor emphasized in a recent call for action. Douglas P. Starr of Texas A&M University explained:

“In the United States, government by the people depends upon people’s access to information, information that is provided by the news media, mainly newspapers and their World Wide Web pages and their reporters, news editors, and copyeditors, all of whom contribute to the accuracy and objectivity of the news story.”

He identified seven things that must happen “for the good of the United States, for the good of all the people.” Of those, three touched on providing more local news – “what county weekly newspapers have been doing for generations.”

Citation: Future of the United States
Posted at:

Paid ads “creeping onto the front covers of magazines.” Thanks to Pam Smith for calling attention to a recent New York Times article about that topic. Agricultural magazines were not among those mentioned, but questions about selling cover ads are confronting agricultural publishers. The author of this article noted that such questions arise, in part, because of “tough times” and because “many new media have less stringent policies about where ads may appear.”

Posted at:

We invite your help in identifying reports, editorials, commentaries and examples that involve separation of editorial and advertising content on the covers of agricultural magazines. Please send them to us at – or point us toward such information. Thanks.

You can check recent progress in the Center. Read the latest annual summary of activities and progress in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center here at the University of Illinois. It is posted on the ACDC web site.


Communicator activities approaching

May 12-14, 2009
“Celebrating deep roots, strong branches, new heights.” Twentieth anniversary meeting of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

May 24-28, 2009
“25 years of strengthening international agricultural and extension education.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Puerto Rico.

May 27-29, 2009
Fourth international conference on ICT for development, education and training in Dakar, Senegal.

June 6-10, 2009
“When tillage begins, other arts follow.” ACE.NETC.09 sponsored by the National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) and the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE), in Des Moines, Iowa USA.

June 13-16, 2009
“Branding communications with a kick.” Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Kansas City, Missouri USA.

June 25-27, 2009
“Free rein in the Big Easy.” Annual seminar of the American Horse Publishers (AHP) organization in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The long winter and economic downturn have affected our lexophiles. We can tell by some of the strange mental meanderings of these lovers of words:

  • You feel stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
  • A lot of money is tainted. ‘Taint yours and ‘taint mine.
  • Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

Best regards and good searching. Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas for the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. 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 Com Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to .

Get in touch with us when you see interesting items in the ACDC collection and can’t gain full-text access through information in the citation, or through online searching. We will help you gain access.