January News and Research from the ACDC– Issue 24-01

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Climate messaging off target

Some of the messages most favored by climate activists to draw public support for climate policies are “hitting the wrong notes.” That conclusion in a recent Reuters article reflected the results of a global survey among 60,000 respondents in 23 countries.

• Most were not persuaded to support climate policies because of messaging focused on “phasing out” fossil fuels.
• Also, most respondents were not persuaded by messaging about creating “green jobs” or “keeping fossil fuels in the ground.”
• Instead, “by far the most effective way to change a person’s mind to support climate policies is to focus on the urgent need to protect the next generation.”

You can read the article here.

Reviewing the state of rural and community journalism

We are adding to the ACDC collection recent insights from Al Cross, Director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky. He responded to five questions in an interview with the Woodford (Kentucky) Sun News:

• What’s the state of community journalism these days?
• What can a good community newspaper bring to the community?
• How do you respond when someone says, “Nobody reads newspapers anymore?”
• So what do you see in the future for community newspapers?
• It seems that journalists are under attack in an unprecedented way. When someone challenges your integrity or seems to believe that because you’re a journalist you lean in one direction, what do you tell them?

You can read the responses here.

Farmer views: how farm data should be collected and used

Solutions from the Land, a nonprofit organization, recently released a report written by a team of farmers about how data should be collected, analyzed and used in support of sustainable development. These farmers represented different production systems across the United States.

“The report affirms farmers are the owners of the data they generate on the farm and details fourteen recommendations for those who make data management decisions.”

You can read the report, “Data policy guidance on farm data,” here.

Media coverage of mercury contamination in the Canadian Arctic

Signs of communications problems in public health and safety emerged from results of an analysis we are adding from Polar Research (2019). A team of researchers at Trent University and Washington State University analyzed the content of 14 newspapers in the Canadian North and South. Findings indicated:

• Few indigenous people were cited as information sources
• Articles often failed to describe mercury to the reader
• Many articles did not provide direction to support self-efficacy

You can read the article by open access here.

“Food-date labels are adding to the problem of food waste”

Food-data labels such as “use by” and “best if used by” confuse consumers and prompt them to discard food that is safe. So indicated the November 2023 Consumer Food Insights Report from Purdue University Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability. The indication was based on results of a survey among 1,200 U.S. consumers.

Findings indicated that most consumers mistakenly interpret “best if used by” and “use-by” as an indicator of food safety. Instead, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service defines those descriptions as references to peak food quality rather than the date after which the food is no longer safe to eat.

According to the report, lack of an official standard for food-date labeling in the U.S. leaves consumers unsure about what the labels mean. Congressional Research Service has indicated that date-labeling confusion causes 7% of all U.S. food waste.

You can read this Packer article here.

Communicator events approaching

Here are event plans you may find helpful, with contact information you can use for details. We welcome suggestions or revisions for this calendar.

April 22-25, 2024
Conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Information: https://www.aiaee.org/2024-Conference

April 24-26, 2024
“Bright Horizons.” Conference of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information: https://www.nama.org/2024_amc.html

April 29-May 1, 2024
Annual meeting of the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Information: https://www.toca.org/toca-events

A closing thought

We end this January issue of ACDC News with a Dutch proverb touching on the dynamics of what we say:

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”

Best regards and wishes

ACDC is a deep and open resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information, local to global. You are welcome to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valued international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, 510 ACES Library, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu