ACDC News – Issue 01-14

Breathing new life into tired topics.

Ann Wylie, speaker at the 2001 Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) Institute, offers advice for communicators suffering from the “same-old, same-old” syndrome. Her article, entered recently into the ACDC collection, offered six tips for opening the creativity toolbox. Among them: “Reverse it.” For example, “Educators tell us that people learn more from ‘how NOT to’ stories than from ‘how to’ stories – and they certainly have more fun reading them.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Breathe new life into tired topics”) or author search (Wylie) for the full citation.

How are consumers reacting to organic foods?

Following are some of the documents that we have added recently to the ACDC collection concerning consumer reactions to organic foods:

  • “Shoppers ‘flocking to organic products'”
  • “The survey says: consumers want your kind of pork”
  • “Big vote for organic food”
  • “Organic foods offer peace of mind – at a price”
  • “Organic food seasoned with fear”
  • “The concept of natural: implications for biotechnology regulation”
  • “Taste for organic food is growing”

Reference: You can use title searches on the “Real Search” page to see the full citations of documents that may interest you. Also, a subject search on the term “organic” may identify other related documents of interest.

Radio’s secret weapons. 

David Whitman, an award-winning advertising writer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, says radio offers four secret weapons: Dialog. Monologue. Music. Sound effects. In the May issue of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters newsletter, NAFB Chats, he offers advice about how to use these special strengths to create “a great radio spot.”

Reference: Use a title search (“You want what by when?”) or an author search (Whitman) to see the full citation.

50 case stories about participatory communication.

Thanks to the Rockefeller Foundation for contributing a valuable new resource to ACDC. It’s what Denise Gray-Felder describes in the foreword as “a fascinating account of 50 experiments in empowering people – living in poor communities across the world – to seize control of their own life stories and begin to change their circumstances of poverty, discrimination and exclusion.” The author, Alfonso Gumucio Dagron, spent nearly a year gathering information for Making waves: stories of participatory communication for social change. Stories in this book come from more than 30 countries and involve projects that range from street theatres to telecenters.

Reference: Use a title search (“Making waves”) or author search (Gumucio) for the full citation.

A grassroots principle of rural development.

“The only way to start is to start, and the place to start is right here with what little we have and with even a minus quantity. In every case we did not wait for experts to come, or for money to be appropriated, or for certain things to be done. Had we waited, we would still be waiting.”

Pedro T. Orata offered these thoughts nearly 50 years ago as he summarized a community education program with which he was associated in the rural Philippines. His advice continues to echo, globally, in calls for greater local participation and local control in development efforts.

Case report of an award-winning public relations campaign.

The April/May issue of the Agricultural Relations Council newsletter, ARCLight, described a recent campaign by a U.S. farmer cooperative, Farmland Industries. The campaign encouraged Farmland farmer-owners and employees to support international trade. Audience research before and after the campaign revealed substantial increases in awareness, involvement and support. This effort earned Farmland the 2001 Best of NAMA/Golden Arc Best of Show in Public Relations Award.

Reference: Use a title search (“support trade campaign”) or author search (Schmidt) for the full citation, including URL for online access.

Fire in the eyes of small-town reporters.

A research report added recently to the ACDC collection from American Journalism described “standards of courage among small town investigative reporters in the 1950s and 1960s.” Researcher Stephen Banning examined the work of reporters that had received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award between 1956 and 1966. This annual award from the International Conference of Weekly Newspaper Editors recognizes journalistic courage. Results showed how these small town reporters endured economic hardship, physical threats and attacks as they approached local issues such as race, election fraud and political machinery.

Reference: Use a title search (“Courageous performance”) or author search (Banning) for the full citation.

Liquid truth? A communicator’s thought stimulator. T

he following point of view from a public relations practitioner caught our eye recently in a reference about biotech communications:

“The truth is often, you know.not necessarily a solid. It can be liquid. . What seems to be true is not necessarily the case when we look at it and we dissect it and take it apart, and we turn it around and we look at it from a different perspective.Whose truth are we talking about, your truth or my truth?”

Reference: Use a title search (“Trust us – we’re experts”) or author search (Rampton) for the full citation.

“Uninformed public opinion remains volatile.” 

Susanna Hornig Priest offers that perspective in her new book added recently to the ACDC collection: A grain of truth: the media, the public, and biotechnology. This is “an issue-focused study of the character and influence of U.S. news, understood by reference to the way it is produced and its relationship to public opinion.” Her analysis deals with agricultural biotechnology. For example, one chapter involves reactions of the dairy industry, media and public to bovine somatotropin (BST), a growth hormone that stimulates milk production in dairy cows.

Reference: Use a title search (“A grain of truth”) or author search (Priest) for the full citation.

Adoption of BST: far short of predictions.

A study reported recently in AgBioForum traced producers’ adoption of recombinant bovine somatotropin on Wisconsin dairy farms. Researchers found that “over the first five years of its commercial availability, rBST adoption has been rather modest.far short of the robust adoption predictions made when the technology was originally released.” Among the reasons identified: farm-level concerns, such as size, associated technologies, and alternative productions systems that do not match well with the technology.

Reference: Use a title search (“Adoption of rBST”) or author search (Barham) for the full citation, including URL for online access..

Professional activities approaching:

July 28-August 1, 2001
Joint meeting of Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE) and the National Extension Technology Conference (NETC) in Toronto, Canada.
Information: 1-4, 2001

Agricultural Publications Summit in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joint meeting of American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA), Livestock Publications Council (LPC) and APA: the Association of Leading Ag Media Companies.

September 8-12, 2001
2001 Congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists at Savonlinna, Finland.

September 13-16, 2001
“CFWF 2001: An Atlantic Odyssey.” Meeting of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation at Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Best regards and good searching.

Please pass along your reactions, questions and ideas for ACDC. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents that we might add to this collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 69 Mumford Hall, University of Illinois, 1301 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801) or electronic form ( Thank you.

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