ACDC News – Issue 17-05

2017 Pulitzer Prize to a rural community journalist

We are adding to the ACDC collection recent announcement of a rural community journalist who has been selected the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner in Editorial Writing. He is Art Cullen, co-owner of The Storm Lake Times newspaper, published twice-weekly at Storm Lake, Iowa. His series during 2016 was honored “for editorials fueled by tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing that successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa.” You can learn more about it and read Cullen’s 10 editorials here .

The award prompted agricultural columnist Alan Guebert to write “Courting courage and foresight.” He shared thoughts about Cullen’s prize-winning coverage of that contentious water controversy. You can read the column here .

15 emerging issues for global conservation and biological diversity

An international team of expert “horizon scanners” recently published a list of “emerging issues likely to affect global biological diversity, the environment, and conservation efforts in the future. “ It’s a wide-ranging list, including issues as diverse as:

  • blockchain technology
  • use of robotics to combat invasive species
  • use of bacteria and fungi to manage agricultural pests
  • development of floating wind farms
  • creation of fuel from bionic leaves and reverse photosynthesis

These and other emerging issues offer special opportunities for agricultural journalists, communicators, and others The article, “2017 horizon scan of emerging issues…,” was published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution .  You can view it online here .

25 stories reflect a passion for videos about farmer innovations

You may brighten your day by learning how many organizations are making, translating, sharing, and using videos about farmer innovations in eight countries of Africa and Asia. A 2016 report, “A passion for video,” features 25 stories from a Writeshop organized by the international NGO, Access Agriculture.

Here are the titles of several stories written:

  • Ready, set, bureaucracy: kick-starting  farmer training videos in Egypt
  • My father taught me to open my eyes (Kenya)
  • The video tricycle (Ghana)
  • No laughing matter: videos blending humor, drama and machinery in Bangladesh
  • Becoming a journalist farmer (Benin)
  • Videos on the radio (Malawi)

You can read these 25 stories here .

New John L. Woods Collection

Hearty thanks to Dr. John L. Woods for contributing his globe-spanning collection of agricultural communications literature to ACDC. This recent contribution added 121 documents to the ACDC collection.

  • They range across 40 years (from 1965-2005).
  • They include communications related to agricultural development and environmental quality in Asia, Pacific Region, Africa, Middle East, Latin America, and the U.S.
  • They consist of books, handbooks, guides, project reports, presentations, research reports, and other formats.
  • They feature strategic communications plans and management, campaign guides, training workshops, cinematography, field worker training and other topics of enduring value for practitioners, researchers, teachers, students, and others.
  • General search engines do not identify most of these materials.

During his career Dr. Woods served on the University of Illinois faculty, as director of Development Training and Communication Planning (DTCP) in the Asia and Pacific Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and as strategic communicator with Chemonics International Inc. To see citations for his contributions, visit the ACDC website , click on “Start your Search,” and enter “John L. Woods Collection” in the Search box.

Connecting cooking and feminism

A 2015 article in the Australian Journal of Environmental Education picked up on that gap. Researchers noted that in popularized feminist discourse daily cooking has been implicitly defined as second-class status. By examining two local food activist groups, they observed a strong connection between feminism and cooking sustainable foods.

“…it is time to conceptualise a new discourse on the kitchen for a feminist-environmental theory of cooking.”

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

Digging for farm press freedom in Cuba

That is the title of a report we added recently to the ACDC collection from the American Agricultural Editors’ Association newsletter, AAEA ByLine . Owen Roberts of the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, wrote it following an AAEA press trip to Cuba. He explored some of the changes and challenges in the flow of information needed by farmers throughout that country.

You can read the report here .

 Where we are finding agricultural communications literature these days

Our search efforts for the ACDC collection continue to take us to interesting new scholarly territory.  You may be interested in some recent examples of journals in which we have found articles featuring agricultural communications in its great breadth:

  • Trends in Ecology and Evolution
  • Journal of Cleaner Production
  • Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research
  • International Journal of Online Engineering
  • Environmental Policy and Governance
  • Telematics and Informatics
  • Water Resources Research
  • Perspectives on Psychological Science

Communicator activities approaching

May 25-29, 2017
“Interventions: Communication Research and Practice.” Annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in San Diego, California.

June 13-16, 2017
“ReNEWal ORLEANS” Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) in New Orleans, Louisiana. Information:

June 20-22, 2017
“Setting the gold standard in agricultural public relations.” Annual meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council in Sacramento, California.

July 22-26, 2017
“Summit on the summit.”  Agricultural Media Summit near Salt Lake City, Utah. Joint meeting of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association, Livestock Publications Council, and the Connectiv Agri-Media Committee. Also site of the national meeting of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.

 You know how newspaper people are

We close this issue of ACDC News with a thought expressed in a 1990 issue of the National Association of Agricultural Journalists Newsletter. The article explored why ag writers have left newspapers.

“You know how newspaper people are. They have that great sense of humor and they’re always up to something wacky.”

 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 and valuable 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