ACDC News – Issue 20-01

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Pay attention to local contexts in digital access for rural communities

That was a key takeaway of recent research in Australian rural communities. Researchers examined the relationship between limited connectivity, the local context, and socio-economic outcomes in rural areas. They called for further examination of the nuanced differences among different population groups in rural areas, particularly with regard to generational divides.

You can read the abstract here with full-text PDF available for purchase from the publisher. Or confer with us at

How U.S. consumers view and deal with food waste now

The International Food Information Council Foundation recently provided an update, based on an August 2019 survey among 1,000 U.S. adults. A few of the findings:

  • Meal leftovers (74%) and fresh produce (67%) were among the most likely to end up in garbage at home.
  • Spoiled or stale food (83%) was the top reason foods ended up in garbage at home.
  • When grocery shopping, 75% said they always or sometimes considered food waste. When eating out, 58% did so.
  • Respondents tried most to reduce food waste by storing to maximize shelf life (60%), keeping an organized pantry (54%), making a grocery list (51%), and using a meal plan (48%).

You can read the report of findings here.

“Not bloke-ified enough?”

This article in the Newspaper Research Journal involves debates on sugar and the supermarket industry in the British national press during 2010-2015. A content analysis of the LexisNexis database indicated that traditionally “female” subject areas of journalism (health, supermarkets) migrated from “soft” news sections to “hard” news pages of newspapers. Researcher Martina Topic observed that “…when this happened, women journalists were squeezed out of covering these issues; instead, most topics on hard news pages become the preserve of male journalists.”

You can read the abstract here with full-text PDF available for purchase from the publisher. Or confer with us at

Tips for reporting in indigenous communities

An award-winning reporter, Angela Sterritt, says that journalists can do a much better job of covering indigenous interests and communities. Among suggestions reported in the Ryerson Review of Journalism (Canada):

  • Be cautious of stereotyping
  • Add depth and context in stories
  • Get the terminology right and identify sources accurately
  • Use varied sources to reveal the many perspectives, world views, and thoughts
  • Balance positive and negative coverage of issues

You can read these and other tips in the article here.

Inviting your feedback and ideas

We invite you to participate in our listening survey to help us serve your interests. Participating includes answering 10 questions that will take about 10 minutes. The survey will be open until February 15, 2020. The ACDC Coordinator will review, synthesize and keep your responses confidential. If you have any questions about the research study, please contact Janis Shearer at If you have questions or concerns about your rights as a participant please contact the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office for the Protection of Research Subjects at 217-333-2670 or via email at

Thank you for your help. Please click here for the survey.

Communicator events approaching

January 24 and February 14, 2020
Deadlines for submission of research papers, posters, research proposals, theses and dissertations for presentation and awards at the annual meeting of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE), June 22-25, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois USA.


February 2-3, 2020
National Agricultural Communications Symposium with the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists, Louisville, Kentucky USA. Information:  Prof. Annie Specht at

April 15-17, 2020
“Charting the course.” Conference of the National Agri-Marketing Association in San Diego, California.


June 24-28, 2020
Conference of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors at the University of Nevada, Reno. Nevada. Information: https://www.iswne.or

June 22-25, 2020
“Be inspired Chicago!” Annual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE), Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Chicago, Illinois.


(Agricultural) communication is just too central

We close this new-year issue of ACDC News with an insight from communication scholar Steven H. Chaffee:

“Communication is just too central to all human activity not to attract the interest of economists, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and historians.”

We in ACDC can testify to that insight, based on the many sources in which we find information about agricultural communications. And beyond interests Chaffee mentioned about the social sciences, we would add all who are engaged throughout the food and agriculture, fiber, and energy complex – including those interested in preserving natural resources and the environment. That’s our special and vital arena for helping people communicate better.

Best wishes for 2020 – and good searching

ACDC is a resource for you, so please 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 international 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