ACDC News – Issue 11-07

Rural and urban audiences – not “two opposing groups.” Jean-Pierre Ilboudo of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations emphasized that perspective in a book chapter about the role and use of rural radio. This case study and others in The one to watch were among the earliest to examine the convergence of radio with new information and communications technologies for rural development.

Reality is more refined than a rural-urban face-off, he observed. The “differences and differing lifestyles which are specific to ethnic or community membership – language, gender and age – play an increasingly important role.  He described a “new radio landscape” and some of the special roles that radio can play within it. You can read this chapter, and others, here .

Naming the flu – more than meets the eye. Researcher Orla Vigsø has tried to identify theoretical underpinnings for the 2009 flu epidemic that featured a war of names: Mexican flu, Swine flu, New flu and H1N1 flu  Reporting in Observatorio Journal , Vigsø analyzed this name battle in terms of the ancient rhetorical theory of stasis, and the more recent concept of frames and counter-frames. Findings?  “It turns out that what may have looked like a mixture of scientific debate and language use was indeed a number of economic and political conflicts taking place simultaneously, and with the flu as a proxy.  World trade, protectionism, tourism and religious persecution are just some of the factors at play in this intensive episode.”

“To all of the stakeholders dealt with here, the naming of the pandemic was in fact a case of crisis communication, as the choice of name for the disease could have severe implications for each stakeholder’s continued business.  But at the same time, the stakeholder was not just facing a crisis due to the development of a disease, but even due to deliberate attempts from other stakeholders to inflict damage and favour their own interests.  And in most cases, these attempts were performed under cover of a concern for health and stability.  To grasp this and make it clear in one theoretical approach is, indeed, a challenge to crisis communication theory.”  You can read the journal article here .

Understanding the U.S. generic advertising system .  Ronald Ward, among the most active researchers in this field, provided an overview in a recent issue of the International Journal on Food System Dynamics .  Citing examples of beef, flowers, honey and watermelon promotion, he described the structure, theory, common characteristics and experiences of generic programs of commodity promotion in the U.S.

21 lessons learned when Extension reports in controversy. Researchers Teresa Welch and William S. Braunworth, Jr., identified them in a recent journal article we have added to the ACDC collection.  They reported on experiences of a team of Extension and Experiment Station faculty members involved in publishing a report related to a water conflict in Oregon and California. Their observations and public feedback provided 15 lessons in what worked and 6 lessons in what to improve.  Several of the key lessons:

  • Use adequate checks and balances within the project team.
  • Public input is essential.
  • Communications professionals must play a key role.

More .

What about consumer willingness to pay for food information? Most research in the arena of “willingness to pay” centers on buying food products.  However, research reported during early 2010 identified willingness of consumers to pay for information about food.  Researcher Terhi Latvala analyzed responses from nearly 1,300 consumers in Finland.  Nearly 73 percent said they were willing to pay for increased information related to the safety, origin and other quality attributes of beef.

“Based on the results, it can be stated that not enough quality information is available on the markets, and that the majority of consumers are willing to pay for quality information.”

“Where do you find these reports?” Some might call it “meta-research.”  We still call it “digging.” Here are a few of the journals from which we recently identified agricultural communications literature for the ACDC collection:

Journal of Multicultural Discourses

Visual Anthropology

Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media

Food Quality and Preference

Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

Please let us know at when you see articles, conference proceedings, books and other documents about agriculture-related communications that aren’t yet in the ACDC collection.

Communicator activities approaching.

  • 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:
  • June 19-22, 2011
    “Caliente!  Hot ideas for cooperative communicators.”  Cooperative Communicators Association Institute in San Antonio, Texas 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:
  • July 23-27, 2011
    “Jazz it up!”  Agricultural Media Summit involving the American Agricultural Editors’ Association, Livestock Publications Council, Agri Council of American Business Media and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow in New Orleans, Louisiana USA. Information:
  • August 30-September 3, 2011
    20th European Seminar on Extension Education in Helsinki, Finland. Information:
  • September 14-18, 2011
    “Experience new world agriculture.”  2011 Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in Guelph, Canada, and Niagara Falls. Information:

Oops.  Slightly off the mark. We close this issue of ACDC News with special thanks to Gordon Collie, a veteran rural journalist in Australia.  He passed along this item about the perils of reporting (by ear):

“True story during the disastrous Queensland floods in December 2010.  Local newspaper in Rockhampton splashed a headline that a district farmer had lost 30,000 pigs, swept away in the swollen Fitzroy River.  Humble correction the following day.  The farmer had actually said 30 sows and pigs were lost!”

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 .

Updated on