ACDC News – Issue 18-09

What unites and divides urban, suburban, and rural communities

Here are a few examples of findings in a 2018 national U.S. survey by the Pew Research Center:

  • Poverty increased more rapidly in urban and suburban counties than in rural communities between 2000 and 2015
  • Rural Americans, especially those without a college degree, are less optimistic about their financial future
  • Across all categories, most say rural areas get less than their fair share of federal dollars
  • Rural residents are more likely than those in cities and suburbs to say they know all or most of their neighbors, but no more likely to interact with them

You can read the survey report here.

 Four cautions about corporate community development (CCD)

A team of university researchers from the UK and New Zealand recently identified four problems when global corporations engage in community development. Their findings, reported in the Development and Change journal, emerged from field-based research in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and South Africa. The identified problems included:

  • Problematic ways in which “communities” are defined, delineated, and constructed
  • The disconnected nature of many CCD initiatives, and the lack of alignment and integration with local and national development planning policies and processes
  • Top-down governance, and the absence or erosion of participatory processes and empowerment objectives
  • The tendency towards highly conservative development visions

You can read the abstract of the Wiley-published article here. Or check with us at for help in seeking full-text access.

Leaning on prestigious scholarly journals

In the academic world, decisions about hiring, promotion, and funding tend to center on assessing research quality in a mechanical way by using journal prestige ratings.  We were interested, then, in an analysis by an economist at the University of Warwick, UK. It involved using total citations over a quarter of a century as a criterion.

Findings suggested: “It is dangerous to argue that publication in famous journal X means that a paper is more important than one published in medium-quality journal Y.”

You can read the report here.

 Does self-regulation of food advertising work?

University of Bonn researchers asked that question in an analysis of television food advertisement to children in Germany. During October 2011, 2012, and 2014 they recorded television programming of children’s 10 most popular German television networks between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Results led them to conclude that commitments made by signatory companies of the EU Pledge (introduced in 2007) “had so far little impact on the nutritional value of food and beverages advertised to children. Nevertheless, the marketing of foods through television advertising targeting children during children’s program declined considerably.”

You can read the 2016 conference research paper here.

24 years of news about using ethanol as a biofuel

We have added to the ACDC collection a 2017 Newspaper Research Journal article about how five “elite” U.S. daily newspapers covered ethanol use as a biofuel for 24 years (1987-2011).  This content analysis stretched from early interest in the technology through three years of peak coverage (2006-2008) spurred by policy issues, then into a quieter post-policy period (2009-2011). Among the findings:

  • Themes about policy and economics dominated the coverage
  • Ethanol industry representatives (in 27% of articles) and public officials (23%) were represented most often in articles. University researchers were seldom represented (3%)
  • Newspaper headlines throughout the study period communicated a story slightly different from the content of articles they introduced

You can read the article here.

 Using a simple phone app to transform Indonesia’s rivers

A new case study in the ACDC collection explains how mobile applications are helping form dynamic networks that are effectively restoring and protecting rivers. During June the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported on the River School Movement in Indonesia. Started in 2015, the Movement uses a holistic approach. It engages diverse stakeholders in a river system, from people living on the river and students to researchers, local governments, and NGOs. They use their mobile network to share advice and information – to “connect your heart with nature.”

This globally-recognized effort is coordinated from Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta as part of the Indonesian River Restoration program.

You can read the case report here.

 Communicator events approaching

September 20-22, 2018
“The changing face(s) of agriculture.” Annual conference of the Canadian Farm Writers Federation (CFWF) in Winnipeg, Manitoba Province, Canada.

October 1, 2018
Deadline for full research papers to be submitted for presentation at the 2019 National Agricultural Communications Symposium (NACS) in Montgomery, Alabama, January 31 – February 6, 2019.

October 3-7, 2018
Annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Flint, Michigan, site of the most serious drinking water crisis in modern U.S. history.

October 12-16, 2018
“ScienceWriters2018.” Meeting of the National Association of Science Writers in Washington, D.C. Information:

October 19, 2018
Deadline for (a) research and innovative posters and (b) proposals for professional development sessions at the 2019 National Agricultural Communications Symposium, Montgomery, Alabama, January 31 – February 6, 2019.

November 7-9, 2018
“75 Years Strong.” Annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), Kansas City, Missouri.  Information:

“Yours fraternally” Oops.

We close this issue of ACDC News with a poem by Eugene Field about an editor’s slip-up. It was published in 1910 and may still resonate today.

An editor in Kankakee
Once failing in a burning passion
With a vexatious rival, he
Wrote him a letter in this fashion:

“You are an ass uncouth and rude,
And will be one eternally.”
Then, in an absent-minded mood,
He signed it, “Yours fraternally.”

 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

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