ACDC News – Issue 11-13

What “local” means to radio listeners – and how they value it .  Researchers Gayane Torosyan and Charles Munro found good news for local, terrestrial radio in their recently reported research among U.S. listeners.  Using focus groups and a national online listener survey, they shed light on the concept of “local” and on where local radio fits into the changing media landscape.  Among the findings reported in this article in the Journal of Radio and Audio Media :

  • Most listeners defined “local news” as hometown (26 percent) or regional (35 percent), not statewide (9 percent).
  • At least half of all survey respondents named these features of local radio as “very important:” speed and reliability of emergency information, music choices, caring about listeners and friendly personalities.
  • They considered these features least important:  covering local high school sports, offering contests and prizes, and “celebrity” radio personalities.
  • Most (90 percent) of the residents of small towns and rural areas expressed the same general programming preferences as residents of larger communities, giving top preference to local news, weather and traffic, with music second.
  • Some 90 percent of all respondents predicted that in the future they will spend the same amount of time or even more listening to their local radio stations.

View the abstract here .

Check with us at for help in gaining full-text access.

“China gives press more freedom – for food safety.” An Associated Press news report we have added to the ACDC collection explains that “China’s usually strict censors are allowing the press more latitude to help it monitor a food industry long riddled with problems.”  Reporter Alexa Olesen described the shift as leadership response to the scope of China’s food safety problem and a recognition that government inspectors alone are not going to be able to tackle it.

Broadband gaps in rural America remain significant. A June 2011 update from the Federal Communications Commission reported that the broadband deployment and adoption gaps in rural areas “remain significant.”  For example:

  • Only 21.7 percent of all Americans live in rural areas, but 72.5 percent of the 26.2 million Americans that still lack access to fixed broadband services live there.
  • Twenty-eight percent of rural Americans lack access to fixed broadband at three Mbps/768kbps or faster service. Only three percent lack access in non-rural areas.

You can view this 29-page report we have added to the ACDC collection.

Communicators helping preserve experiences of pioneers and institutional memory .  Thanks to Gene Hettel of the International Rice Research Institute for alerting us to a significant oral history project on which he and his associates are working.  He is editor and head of Communication and Publications Services at IRRI.

“I too am interested in oral history,” Gene explains, referring to our recent report about Natalie Daily Federer’s oral history project that involves agricultural communicators. During the past five years he and his associates have been conducting a continuing project to capture IRRI’s institutional memory by video.  They have recorded around 100 hours of interviews with more than 55 pioneers of IRRI, ranging across directors, researchers and their families, rice growers and others.  The oral history project is hooked to the 50th anniversary of IRRI last year.

You can read, view and hear some of these valuable resources about the work and lives of rice pioneers here .

More agricultural communications journal articles available online. Here are eight articles now available online in full text from 2009 issues of the Journal of Applied Communications :

  • “Before it hits the fan: pre-crisis beef producer information source preferences” by Marcus A. Ashlock, D. Dwayne Cartmell II and James G. Leising
  • “Agroterrorism and the implications of uncertainty reduction theory for agricultural communicators” by Marcus A. Ashlock, James G. Leising and D. Dwayne Cartmell II
  • “Research themes, authors and methodologies in the Journal of Applied Communications : a ten-year overview” by Leslie D. Edgar, Tracy Rutherford and Gary E. Briers
  • “Student publications’ place in the agricultural communication curriculum” by Kelsey Hall, Emily Rhoades and Robert Agunga
  • “Service learning: a case study in an agricultural communications course” by Danna B. Kellemen, D. Dwayne Cartmell II and Shelly Peper Sitton.
  • “Editor preferences for the use of scientific information in livestock publications” by Traci L. Naile and D. Dwayne Cartmell II
  • “A semiotic analysis of biotechnology and food safety images in Time , Newsweek and U. S. News & World Report ” by Jenn Norwood Tolbert and Tracy Rutherford
  • “Impact of reporter work role identity on news story source selection: implications for coverage of agricultural crises” by Judith McIntosh White and Tracy Rutherford

You can read these articles in Volume 93, Issues 1-4.

Communicator activities approaching.

  • September 14-18, 2011
    “Experience new world agriculture.”  2011 Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists in Guelph, Canada, and Niagara Falls. Information:
  • November 9-11, 2011
    “Insight for agriculture…every day.”  Annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information:
  • November 9-12, 2011
    “Innovative approaches for agricultural knowledge management: global extension experiences.”  Conference of the International Society of Extension Education, New Delhi, India. Information:
  • November 15-18, 2011
    “Innovations in extension and advisory services.”  International conference in Nairobi, Kenya.  Sponsored by a variety of national, regional and international partners. Information:

Want to lower your cholesterol?  Do some affectionate writing. We close this issue of ACDC News with surprising results reported in Human Communication Research .  College student participants in experimental groups wrote about their affection for significant friends, relatives and/or romantic partners for 20 minutes on three separate occasions over a five-week period.  Those in control groups wrote about innocuous topics.  At the end of the five-week period those in the experimental group had experienced statistically significant reductions in total cholesterol.

View the abstract here .  Check with us at for help in gaining full-text access.

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