ACDC News – Issue 11-04

Guide for creating a citizen news enterprise .  We recently added to the ACDC collection a document announcing a new online module that entrepreneurial rural journalists might use in ” Launching a nonprofit news site. ”  Brant Houston and Andy Hall wrote it for the Knight Citizen News Network, which helps citizens and journalists “amplify community news.” Videos, documents, worksheets and other resources take learners through a six-step process, from self-assessment through business models for bringing in revenue.

New insights about how European consumers view food .  During November the European Food Safety Authority published results of a new Eurobarometer survey among nearly 27,000 European citizens from 27 member states.  The report highlighted consumers’ perceptions about food and food-related risks, sources of information and confidence in those sources, and the role and effectiveness of public authorities. Among the findings:

    • Consumers were more inclined to associate food and eating with fresh and tasty foods (58 percent) and enjoyment of meals with friends and family (54 percent) than with food safety (37 percent).
    • They felt that the economic crisis (20 percent) and environmental pollution (18 percent) are likely to affect them more than food-related problems (11 percent).
    • Most (80 percent) said they have heard media reports of unsafe or unhealthy food. About one-half said they either ignore such reports, or worry about them but do not change their eating habits.  The tendency to ignore information appears greater for information about diet and health (29 percent) than about food safety (24 percent).

40 ideas in 40 minutes .  That was the title of a document we have added to the ACDC collection from a 2010 conference session of American Horse Publications.  These ideas (with 12 others tossed in for good measure) address topics such as:

  • On e-media
  • On content use
  • On making money online
  • On going green
  • 10 ways to destroy team morale

How self-fulfilling prophecies can deaden rural broadband efforts. In a graduate research project Daniel J. Brown recently shed light on areas of ambiguity and uncertainty that have limited growth of broadband services in rural Alberta, Canada. In 2005 the Alberta government completed a high-speed, high capacity fiber optic network, Alberta Supernet.  Noted as the first of its kind, it connected 242 rural communities throughout the province. However, when 2008 arrived 150 communities – many smaller than 3,000 residents – still lacked broadband access. Alberta was ranked last in Canada for rural broadband access.

Brown used a Sensemaking conceptual framework that revealed several areas of ambiguity and uncertainty that have immobilized the development of rural broadband.

On the minds of agricultural journalists and communicators. Agricultural journalists and communicators around the world addressed lots of professional topics at their meetings and events last year. The Agricultural Communications Documentation Center  staff went scouting, internationally, at year’s end. It identified 86 professional improvement sessions carried out during 2010 by 21 agricultural journalist and communicator organizations in 11 countries.  These sessions featured topics in alphabetized categories that ranged from audience relations to writing and editing, with a dozen categories in between.  You can read this professional development feature on the website of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ).

Meat and dairy products – worlds apart in the U. S. public mind . “What type of food do you believe poses the greatest risk for food-borne illness – meat, seafood, dairy products or fresh produce?”  Here are responses from more than 3,000 U. S. participants in the mid-2010 Thomson Reuters PULSE Healthcare Survey :

Meat                            51 percent
Fresh produce               23
Seafood                        22
Dairy products                4

Communicator activities approaching.

  • March 31, 2011
    Registration for the International Society of Extension Education (INSEE) conference, “Innovative approaches for agricultural knowledge management: global extension experiences,” to take place November 9-12, 2011, in New Delhi, India. Information:
  • April 10-12, 2011
    Spring meeting of the North American Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ) in Washington, D. C. Information:
  • April 13-15, 2011
    “Harvesting Ideas 2011.”  Conference of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri USA. Information:
  • May 26-30, 2011
    Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in Boston, Massachusetts USA. Information:
  • June 10-14, 2011
    Joint meeting of the National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) and the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Denver, Colorado USA. Information:
  • July 3-7, 2011
    “Sustainable value chain agriculture for food security and economic development.”  2011 World Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Windhoek, Namibia. Information:

Chalkboard wisdom about “participation .”  We close this issue of ACDC News with an insight we saw recently on the website of the Hivos Knowledge Programme.  Someone had left the message on a chalkboard after a meeting in Bolivia.

“I participate
You participate
He/She participates
We participate
They decide”

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 Com Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to .