ACDC News – Issue 15-09

Connections between “slow food” and “slow journalism”

Harold Gess explored them in a special issue of Ecquid Novi focused on journalism and climate change. He suggested that journalism is perhaps not well suited to reporting climate change as conventional reporting does not run to depth and the story loses its interest value. Exploring connections with the Slow Food Movement, he noted relationships between food and journalism, including several principles of slow food:

  • Good – fresh, flavorsome
  • Clean – no harm to the environment, animal welfare, health
  • Fair – accessible prices, fair conditions and pay for small-scale producers

Perhaps, he said, it is time to look at the potentials of a “slow journalism” movement that involves building community, sustainability, resilience and adaptability. “To do this it is necessary to rethink it as a practice that seeks understanding of the local within the global and a view of the global from a local perspective and as a practice involved in community life rather than operating as an external observer.”

You can read the article, “Climate change and the possibility of slow journalism,” here , starting on page 54 of the posted issue.

Rural areas perhaps hardest hit by digital television transition

A 2015 article in Television and New Media analyzed the impact of the DTV transition of several years ago.  Researchers observed in “Restarting Static” that DTV poses special challenges in rural areas, including poor transmission (resulting from resolution favored over reception). Also, they noted: “Although rural affairs advocates looked forward to rural broadband via broadcast…such features have not been attempted.”  They found a theme that included an inadequate public information campaign and failure to explore the range of opportunities presented by the digital format.

You can read the abstract and learn of options for access through Sage Publications here . Or check with us at for help in gaining access.

Landowners’ willingness to grow biomass crops on former farmland

Researcher David Timmons examined what it would take to motivate landowners in western Massachusetts to grow biomass energy crops. Almost 90 percent of farmland in that area is no longer in commercial use. His survey revealed landowners were willing to accept an estimated median of $321 per hectare per year.

He observed that the amount is high by both regional and national standards, especially for what may in some cases be marginal farmland. Also, results suggested that “prices will clearly not be the only motivator of landowner participation in biomass energy crop production. Attention to landowner concerns and amenity needs may also be needed to bring inactive farmland into use.”

You can read “ Using former farmland for biomass crops ” in Agricultural and Resource Economics Review .

Best way to boost vegetable consumption? Change the product – or the consumer?

Changing the attributes of cauliflower and green beans has limited potential to increase demand, according to a 2015 study by two Australian researchers. Their study among 1,002 grocery buyers identified preference for these vegetables in the form they are offered at present: white, whole cauliflower at lowest cost and green beans, loose at lowest cost.

  • Color, price and pack format were the most important factors influencing buying decisions for cauliflower and green beans.
  • Participants were more interested in buying conventional products than products with modified properties.
  • Communication of health claims had a very small or no positive effect on purchase interest.
  • Children’s lack of interest in these vegetables limited the purchase intent.

“A better strategy might be to change the consumer, perhaps through exposing children to vegetables,” the authors concluded.

You can read the abstract and options for full-text retrieval of this article, “Towards greater vegetable consumption,” here . Or check with us at for help in gaining full-text access.

Country journalism and development journalism: close connections

What is described in Australia as country newspaper journalism shows significant differences from the mainstream Western tradition. So reported Kathryn Bowd in the journal, Asia Pacific Media Educator . Analysis revealed that country journalism has “evolved in ways which appear to have more in common with non-Western forms of journalism than with the journalism practiced in major Australian cities.” Here are some of the differences identified:

  • Central role of local news, emphasizing events and issues which involve the readers and mark achievements of ordinary people. “Even advertising can be seen as a form of local information.”
  • Close relationship between publication and readership, journalist and audience
  • Greater sense of being answerable to an audience
  • High level of job satisfaction, despite low pay and high stress levels
  • Community-building role in which country newspapers serve as strong promoters of their towns or regions

The author describes elements of development journalism and suggests that they appear to have much in common with journalism practiced by country newspapers.

You can read this article, “How different is ‘different’?” here .

Communicator activities approaching

November 2, 2015

Deadline for submitting papers, extended abstracts and session proposals for the annual conference of the International Communication Association in Fukuoka, Japan, June 9-13, 2016.  Theme: “Communicating with power.”


November 10-12, 2015

“Managing change innovation and action in an ever shrinking world.” Conference of the Australasia Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Adelaide, South Australia.


November 11-13, 2015

“Growing our future to harvest our success.” Annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri USA.


Journalism? Advocacy?

A view on sorting career directions

We close this issue of ACDC News with a piece of career advice from Sudhirendar Sharma in a recent book, The Green Pen , about environmental journalism:

“I have learnt it the hard way: those who are passionate about environment must not pursue active journalism and those who stand to do objective journalism must stay away from being passionate about the environment.”

Best wishes and good searching

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC . 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, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) or in electronic format sent to