ACDC News – Issue 09-20

Tracking public perceptions about H1N1 and pork . Here are some of the research results we are seeing around the world about public perceptions regarding H1N1 flu, especially regarding concerns of the pork industry through identification as “swine flu.” Most research studies being reported to date have tracked the early stages.

“Initial psychological responses to Influenza A, H1N1 (‘Swine flu’)”
Findings from a May 2009 survey among European residents indicated that only 7 percent had stopped eating pork.

“Widespread public misconception in the early phase of the H1N1 influenza epidemic”
A June 2009 article in the Journal of Infection reported that only 6.9 percent of sampled Chinese residents of Hong Kong said they believe the H1N1 influenza is transmitted by eating well-cooked pork.

“H1N1/swine flu update”
A May 2009 article from the Tempert Report cited a SupermarketGuru quick poll indicating that 93 percent of sampled U. S. consumers said they feel it is safe to eat pork products.

“Public perceptions, anxiety and behaviour change in relation to the swine flu outbreak: cross sectional telephone survey”
A research article in BMJ reported results of a telephone survey during May among adults in England, Scotland and Wales. Findings showed that at that early stage of the outbreak relatively few people made recommended changes in their behavior, despite widespread advertising and media coverage.

Students learning rural journalism, hands-on . Using a two-part video series, students in a community radio class at West Virginia University documented their experience in learning how to help local residents tell their own stories. Class members teamed with teachers and students of Monroe County Vocational Technical Center to create a local news program, “News at noon.” It was aired daily on an FM station based at the Center. Class members mentored and otherwise helped the high school students and local residents learn how to cover and report news of local interest. Beyond the skills involved, college and high school students alike said they learned about the value of community radio.

View the video at > Search on “grassroots journalism”

Communication? Communications? Based on spellings and rationales used by the thousands of authors represented in this ACDC collection, it seems you can argue your case for either spelling. Take your pick. Spellings vary even within documents, we find. Staff associate Jim Evans observed recently:

“Corresponding about this recently with a friend in the academic community, I ventured: ‘Would I be wrong in observing that researchers tend to adopt the spellings used, by tradition, in their home colleges/units? It seems we kind of inherit our spelling practices, based on rationales established early in the development of our academic units. I was influenced by the views of Dean Ted Peterson and others in the College of Communications here. They used communications to refer to means and activities – and used communication to refer to the process.'”

Here in the Center we let the spellings flow as they will. Fortunately, people seem accustomed to seeing and hearing an inscrutable variety.” We welcome any thoughts you have on this front. Reply to

Use computer mapping to boost agri-tourism, sell produce and… Writing in the Journal of Extension , Ohio extension educator David Marrison described how he used a computer program to map local farms for rapid response to agricultural emergencies. He explained that educators can also employ this technology for many other uses, ranging from promoting local products and custom services to tracking weed infestations and mapping shortfalls in group membership.

“Educators are only limited by their imaginations for developing mapping programs,” he concluded.

Citation: Using computer technology to map local farms
Posted at

The future of African development is mobile. Or is it? Are you interested in some of the conversation about harnessing wireless technology to spur rural development, internationally? If so, here are two reports we added recently to the ACDC collection from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada:

1. A case study in Uganda describes how many rural villages lack power, but have cellular coverage. PDAs were used in testing a new health network to improve access to medical information.

Citation: The future of Africa is mobile
Posted at

2. Alison Gillwald of Research ICT Africa identifies four challenges to extending the use of cheap and portable devices like mobile phones and PDAs.

Citation: Reality check: Will cellphones really solve Africa’s problems?
Posted at

“Sow the wounds” is the eye-catching headline of a recent news report from It introduced current price information in the hog market, with a side note about losses that producers are sustaining.

“Looking like 1998 all over again, there seems to be no news of a Government aid plan coming, and producers are losing a lot of money. It’s time to look at sewing the wounds, or in this case sowing the wounds!”

Thanks to John Otte of Farm Progress for alerting us to it.

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
“Celebrating success in America’s heartland” 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.

Ain’t nature grand? A reader asked that question in the January 30, 1937, issue of Prairie Farmer . Why such awe, we might wonder, during those desperate years of the Depression?

“A million years ago she didn’t know we would be wearing goggles some day, yet look at the way she placed our ears.”

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.