ACDC News – Issue 13-03

“All good print magazines go to digital heaven…or do they?”

That is the title of a commentary we added recently to the ACDC collection. Writing in Folio magazine, author Samir Husni questioned whether a shift from print form to digital-only “is really a heaven-sent opportunity.” Or is it, instead, “a gentle nudge by the minions of magazine hell to push it into its final resting place?”

One example he cited involved Gourmet magazine as “another headstone in the ‘ink-on-paper cemetery'” when Condé Nast ceased printing it in 2009 in favor of an app for iPad called Gourmet Live.

You can read this commentary at:

CASTing an eye on media cheap shots

Thanks to Ted Hutchcroft for contributing recently to the ACDC collection a decades-old speech that seems ageless. The title is “Responding to media cheap shots: Observations on the CAST experience.” At the time (1983), he was vice-president of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), based at Iowa State University, Ames.

In his speech to the Agricultural Relations Council, he identified several features of media cheap shots. For example:

  • Basically, it is a form of misinformation that is disseminated to gain an advantage for the source. It can appear in any media format and come from anywhere.
  • The subject usually is not aware the cheap shot has been fired.
  • It discredits the opponent, often including a charge or an accusation.
  • The message may appear to be based on a reliable source; it may even be a quotation from the opponent.
  • It “does not make extensive use of the truth.”
  • Often the impact of the message is by innuendo rather than as a direct charge.
  • It often contains an element of surprise, either in the message or the timing.
  • It often has entertainment value, thus titillating readers, viewers, and listeners.
  • The element of conflict in a cheap shot appeals to the media gatekeepers.
  • It has an element of “hit-and-run.”
  • If a cheap shot is an elbow in the ribs, the hatchet job is a punch below the belt.

He cited examples of cheap shots aimed at CAST and explained how the organization responded to them.

You can read this speech here .

Really a game changer in fighting childhood obesity?

The Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) organization raised that question in the “Fear and Favor Review” it published recently. This review highlights influences behind U.S. news reported during 2012.

One cited example involved a network telecast reporting that Disney “decided to do something historic to help fight childhood obesity.” The firm had announced it would stop running ads for junk food on its kids TV networks and radio programs. Citing information in Bloomberg News, FAIR noted that the ads represented less than one-tenth of one percent of Disney’s total advertising sales.

You can read the full review at:

Representing 100,000 grassroots telecentres.

The Foundation, based in the Philippines, provides information for resources about agricultural and rural communications. It represents a global network of 300 organizations, 100,000 grassroots telecentres worldwide, and more than 200,000 individuals with direct stakes in the telecentre movement.

You can learn about programs and services of the Foundation at:

Signs of a busy 2012 in the North American agribusiness job market

The fifth annual Agribusiness Job Report from revealed 2012 trends pointing to “a positive outlook for the agriculture industry.” Here are some of the reported findings from job and candidate postings in the U.S. and Canada:

  • The total number of job postings approached 44,000, up 477 from 2011.
  • Posted jobs were from a wide variety of career types.
  • The number of applications processed through the site increased by 43 percent.
  • The largest number of jobs and applicants involved the Midwest region of the U.S.
  • Numbers of internship opportunities increased 17 percent from a year earlier.

You can read the summary report and gain access to the full U.S. and Canada reports at:

Thanks for a Volume 1 Number 1 issue

We extend thanks to Robert Brown for contributing a copy of the premiere issue of Reminisce magazine. It joins the unique V1N1 Collection here in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. Reiman Publications introduced Reminisce during 1991 “with the help of the largest staff ever assembled for one magazine—numbering well into the thousands.” Bob’s father had saved the issue.

Written by readers and relying completely on subscription income, Reminisce came to life with topics such as living during the “dirty thirties,” favorite retirement places, memorable meals, hobo symbols, and unique family gatherings.

Check with us at if you want to learn more about this pioneer issue of a magazine with rural roots—or if you wish to consider contributing a V1N1 issue.

Many communicator activities approaching

  • March 14, 2013
    National annual meeting of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists in London, UK. Information:
  • April 7-9, 2013
    Annual meeting of the North American Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ) in Washington, D.C. Information:
  • April 17-18, 2013
    “Forging New Frontiers.” Annual conference of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information:
  • May 7-9, 2013
    Annual meeting of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) in Portland, Oregon. Information:
  • May 19-22, 2013
    “Building capacity through international agricultural and extension education.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education in Fort Worth, Texas. Information:
  • June 1-5, 2013
    “Sound ideas: the stage is set.” Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Nashville, Tennessee. Information:
  • June 17-21, 2013
    Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in London, UK. Information:
  • July 22-24, 2013
    “Emerging priorities for scientific and agricultural information.” 14th World Congress of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists in Ithaca, New York. Information:
  • August 26-28, 2013
    “Transformative change: chosen or unchosen—pathways to innovation, resilience and prosperity.” International conference of the Australasian-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Christchurch, New Zealand. Information:
  • September 1-5, 2013
    Annual Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in Buenos Aires and Rosario, Argentina. Information:

Hitting the road—a multi-media formula for finding the local news

We close this issue of ACDC News with an early suggestion for using multi-media approaches. It was directed in the 1920s to U. S. county agents, who often weren’t yet channeling agricultural information through their local newspapers, but relying mainly on personal contacts with farm families.

“Write and get printed in your county paper at least one sentence of real news for every five miles your Lizzie travels throughout the year.”

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