ACDC News – Issue 10-05

“Who is doing the investigative science stories?” Not mainly the known science reporters, Paul Raeburn observed recently in Knight Science Journalism Tracker. He based that observation on who wrote some top-ranked investigative pieces of 2009 in the U. S. (including a series on school lunch safety). “Why aren’t we writing the investigative pieces?” he asked in this commentary we have added to the ACDC collection.

You can read his report here , along with some responses and suggestions.

New media + old media = fresh means. These times are bringing not only a batch of new media, but also an explosion of opportunities to intermix new and old media in innovative, effective ways. John James of Queensland, Australia, sketched an example in an extension journal article we added recently to the ACDC collection.

The goal : Improve knowledge, skills and attitudes of beef producers concerning animal nutrition.
The traditional method : Provide a two-day workshop on cattle nutrition.
He asked : Why not use new media to engage the producers before, during and after the workshop? For example:

  • An eSurvey to determine the background of potential participants and their learning needs.
  • A targeted email or blog to share the organizer’s thoughts about running the workshop and to invite producers to offer thoughts and ideas.
  • Web conferences to engage industry representatives, suppliers and other extension officers in planning the content and support materials.
  • A wiki to help planners collate information and resources.
  • An eSurvey among participants after the workshop, plus continuing interactions by web conferences, blogs, podcasts, Second Life and other means.

You can read his article here .

Agriculture Leadership Summit 2009 urges improved communications in India. Key recommendations of the Summit in New Delhi included needed efforts to strengthen communications. Among them:

  • Educate farmers and stake-holders on the global market scenario and implications of the World Trade Organization.
  • Provide a more balanced crop protection policy and incentives to farmers for adopting an effective crop protection umbrella.
  • Help other developing countries in their research, extension, education and institution building, and thus earn money and goodwill.
  • Establish an exclusive DD (direct-to-home terrestrial network) channel on agriculture to focus on farmers’ issues and technology transfer.
  • Reorient the extension systems with effective participation of the private sector with the government sector.

M. J. Khan, chief editor of Agriculture Today , was a member and convener of the Summit.

Read the Summit report here .

Yes, a new poultry magazine . In an era of large-scale poultry production, it may seem surprising to see a new poultry magazine emerge. The premier issue of Chicken hit the news stands during late February. Published by BowTie, Inc., it focuses on the common backyard chicken. Editor Roger Sipe says it is designed to appeal to “a new generation of people who want to reclaim their attachment to nature and become more sustainable.”

You can learn more about the magazine here through a news release via AgriMarketing Update.

“Words that can hurt.” A matter of agricultural terminology caught our eye recently through the diversity committee of the Society of Professional Journalists. Television news coverage of a confrontation involving Latino migrant workers in California prompted this suggestion from a member of the committee:

“Using the highly-charged language of the Minutemen, the TV field reporter described the Latinos as ‘illegal aliens.’ A far better description would be to refer to them as ‘migrant farm workers,’ or possibly, ‘undocumented immigrants.’ These descriptions take the prejudicial sting out of the phrases.”

Citation: Words that can hurt Latinos
View the document online here .

Communicator activities approaching

April 17-21, 2010
“Between passion & press ure” 54th Annual Congress, International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) hosted by the Belgian Association of Agricultural Journalists at Ostend, Belgium.

April 21-23, 2010
“From America’s Heartland to the Rest of the World.” 2010 Agri-Marketing Conference sponsored by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri USA.

April 26-29, 2010
XIIIth World Congress of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD) in Montpellier, France. Organized by Agropolis International.

May 4, 2010
Midwest Regional Design and Writing Workshop for members of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), Livestock Publications Council (LPC) and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Takes place in West Des Moines, Iowa USA.
Information: Jennifer Bremer at

May 5-6, 2010
“Desert Discoveries.” Annual meeting of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) in Tucson, Arizona USA.

June 14-17, 2010
“Meet us in St. Louis.” Annual conference of the Association of Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in St. Louis, Missouri USA.

July 24-28, 2010
“Rolling on the River, AMS Style.” Ag Media Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota USA.

Ode to agricultural advertising . We close this issue of ACDC News with an appreciated contribution from K. Robert Kern. “This isn’t an original bit of doggerel,” he explains, “but one I began to use in training sessions with county agents maybe 50 years ago.”

The cod fish lays a million eggs,
The little hen but one.
The cod fish doesn’t cackle
When her noble deed is done.

So we praise the artful hen.
The cod fish we despise,
Which clearly says to thinking ones:
It pays to advertise.

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.