ACDC News – Issue 17-11


Now recognizing 42 contributed collections

The ACDC website now features an enhanced “Contributed Collections” section that honors 42 persons who have contributed materials to ACDC during the past 30-plus years. Their contributions represent a treasure trove.  This historical material will long serve researchers, students, teachers, professionals, and others interested in the important trail of communications related to agriculture in the U.S. and elsewhere. Much of it involves non-conventional literature and audio-visuals not available in libraries and electronic search systems.

Special thanks to these contributors and the ACDC staff members who have assembled and processed the materials for online identification. You can learn about each of the contributors and their contributions here.  Also, if you have related materials that might fit into this unique historical resource please check with Jim Evans at

What weather broadcasters feel and do about reporting on climate change

We recently added to the ACDC collection a summary of the 2017 National Survey of Broadcast Meteorologists.  Findings came from a survey among 2,220 broadcast meteorology professionals currently working in the United States. Here is a sampling of the findings about their views of climate change:

  • 95 percent think climate change (as defined by the American Meteorological Society) is happening
  • 49 percent are convinced that climate change over the past 50 years has been mostly or entirely due to weather activity; 21 percent think it is more or less caused by human activity and natural events; 21 percent think the change has been primarily or entirely due to natural events.
  • They expressed diverse views about this extent to which additional climate change can be averted over the next 50 years if mitigation measures are taken worldwide

You can read the full report here.

Mobile phones making the world more sustainable

In a 2016 Thomson Reuters blog, Donald Peele observed that “mobile technology has a big part to play in the fight against poverty and creation of a sustainable planet.” He emphasized that it is:

  • Helping farmers and landowners document their land rights
  • Helping governments develop formal registries
  • Helping farmers connect with sources of credit and insurance

You can read this brief commentary here.

 Building local community spirit by creating a public photo collection

Researcher Michele Fontefrancesco described that process in a rural Italian village between 2010 and 2012. The local museum curetted a public collection of private and public photos dating from the late decades of the 19th century to the 1960s in order to create exhibitions  and a freely accessible internet archive. More than 1,000 photos were donated by about 1,000 local residents within a few months. The article investigated how “the evocativeness of a community’s past can create a sense of belonging to the community, and that the very sense of community is negotiated and re-shaped.”

You can read this 2014 article in Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology here.

 Fellowships for journalism innovation

Journalists (including freelancers) from any part of the world – working in any media – addressing any topic – are invited to apply for the Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellowship in Journalism Innovation. The $60,000 award brings individuals to Harvard University to work on a specific course of research or a specific project relating to journalism innovation. Some past Fellows have addressed agriculture-related topics.

Application deadlines are near. Interested persons can get details here.

News as history

We close this issue of ACDC News with a broadening perspective from journalist/historian Diane Fannon-Langton.

“Newspapers have always been viewed as the purveyors of current events, disposable after each day’s read. To me, they are the record of history, more detailed than any encyclopedia or history book.”

This thought speaks to the breadth of our interest in the communications aspects of agriculture. In ACDC we value and gather popular and professional materials as well as scholarly literature. That’s because all reveal what becomes the history of human interactions across the great breadth of food, natural resources, energy, and other dimensions of agriculture.

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