ACDC News – Issue 22-02

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Record number of journalists behind bars

A 2021 global prison census revealed that the number of reporters jailed for their work hit a global record of 293, up from 280 in 2020. We noted this news from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“It has been an especially bleak year for defenders of press freedom … China remains the world’s worst jailer of journalists for the third year in a row, with 50 behind bars. Myanmar soared to the second slot after the media crackdown that followed its February 1 military coup. Egypt, Vietnam, and Belarus, respectively, rounded out the top five.”


You can read the report here.

“So, yes, the risks are higher out there”

Another article about risks facing rural journalists has been added to the ACDC collection. Posted at, it involved an interview with Patricia Evangelista of the Rappler digital media company, based in Manila, Philippines. Evangelista was honored as the Marshall McLuhan Fellow at BoniFest 2019.

Asked about the risks she and other journalists face for reporting events or issues that are political, she replied:  “There are risks. I think, though, that the risks at least for people like me are not as terrible as for people out in the provinces reporting without the support of news agencies. Rappler has my back. If something happens to me, they will be there. But for all the journalists out in the provinces who are fighting the good fight they don’t have what we have. So, yes, the risks are higher out there and it’s them we have to look to…and thank for what they do.”


You can read this Q/A piece here.

 He really captured the uniqueness of radio

The recent passing of respected farm broadcaster Lee Kline highlights his special skills in capturing the inherent features of rural media. His broadcasting career with WHO Radio, Des Moines, Iowa, spanned 64 years. A two-time recipient of the Oscars in Agriculture Award for excellence in radio, he also received dozens of other honors from agricultural organizations and associations. He was known for “his warm interviewing style, natural curiosity, recording of unique sounds, and an ability to prompt heart-felt stories from farmers, families, business people, celebrities, and politicians.”

Across the years, we have gathered into the ACDC collection examples of Lee’s exemplary broadcasting skills. Some are in the form of program segments on audio cassettes in three volumes (2000-2002). They include unique sounds such as talking birds, old fiddlers, auctioneers, storytellers, jumping tractors, Iowa mockingbirds, riding in a glider, and the Perry popcorn lady. Examples also feature his award-winning Oscars in Agriculture entries.


Let us know here if you would like to learn more about his career and/or arrange to hear some of his creative work.

Feedback about the proposed FDA traceability rule

We have added to the ACDC collection a report from the fresh produce industry about record-keeping regulations proposed recently by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It came last month from a diverse team of food safety and quality assurance leaders. In their analysis, members emphasized that a “one size fits all approach to traceability will not work for this industry.” Their insights touched on all sectors of the fresh produce supply chain – from the grower-shipper to the distributor, retailer and foodservice provider.


You can read the report online here.

“How to sell good international stories”

Veteran Brazilian journalist Luis Vieira recently offered several recommendations for freelancers to use in marketing international stories with a specific focus in the agriculture sector.  Among them:

  • Don’t be afraid of pitching these international stories
  • Start by pitching stories for which you have good angle, considering your professional profile
  • Remember that editors assess the quality of your report as well as the potential interest of readers
  • Keep a close eye on current trends and activities in countries in which you have the most interest


You can read this item in the Ag Communicators Network AAEA ByLine newsletter here.

Communicator events approaching

Uncertainties of the COVID-19 health issue continue to prompt flexible event planning. Here are plans of which we are aware, with the contact information you can use for details.


February 18, 2022

Deadline for posters to be presented at the ACE annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 2022.

Information: Cara Lawson at


February 18, 2022

Deadline for outstanding theses and dissertations to be recognized at the ACE annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, June 12-14, 2022.

Information: Garrett Steede at


March 30-April 3, 2022

Annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) in Houston, Texas. Information:


June 6-9, 2022

Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico.



June 12-14, 2022

Annual Conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) in Kansas City, Missouri. Information:


June 27-July 3, 2022

“Smarter Farming and Food Production for Green and Sustainable Growth.” 2022 World Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in Vingsted, Denmark. Hosted by the Danish Food and Agricultural Journalists.



July 16-20, 2022

“On the point.” Ag Media Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina.



Levels of loving

We close this issue of ACDC News pondering a touching (and perhaps thought-provoking) verse that came to our attention recently:

“St. Mullen of Carlow loved animals so much that he

not only rescued a wren that had been swallowed by a cat,

but also rescued a fly that had been swallowed by the wren.”

Offering information and best regards

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. 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

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