ACDC News – Issue 02-09

Newspapers or the Internet: which better for learning?

“Newspaper is likely to be better learning source for the health-related information than Internet news site exposure.” This conclusion by Cheolju Kang came from his recent research project:

“Elaboration of media uses and motivations in knowledge acquisition on mad cow disease issue”

Kang’s master’s degree research among University of Florida students revealed that “simple Internet exposure does not have a significant relation with knowledge, while newspaper exposure has a positive correlation with knowledge” about the health-related issue, mad cow disease. The study also examined motivational aspects of this issue, as correlated with exposure to television news, Internet news sites and newspapers.

Reference: Use a title search (above) or author search (Kang) for the full citation.

And what about learning from labels?

Fewer than 1 in 10 parents whose children are allergic to milk are able to recognize milk on a label. That’s one finding of a study reported recently from a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Also, in the study, only 22 percent of parents whose children have soy allergy correctly identified soy on an ingredient statement. A news release from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network offered suggestions for improving labels and informing parents about how to read them.

Reference: Use a title search (“Parents fail”) for the full citation. The release was posted online at:

Getting mud on the boots is a must. 

So concluded researchers B. Kumar and N.K. Roy in their Interaction article about requirements for effective rural broadcasting in India.

“There is acute present need to train a new brand of rural broadcaster with feeling for the audience, their pains, suffering as well as good grip on the broadcasting techniques,” they observed. And they added that a greater sense of responsibility and responsiveness is being demanded out of broadcasters to play a crucial role in development.

This journal article summarized results of research in that country about rural broadcasting, including programming on All India Radio (which first aired in 1927).

Reference: Use a title search (“Towards more participative”) or author search (Roy) for the full citation.

“Thumbs up” from agricultural communications graduates. 

Researchers Tracy Irani and Christi Scherler, University of Florida, recently examined job satisfaction as an outcome measure of the effectiveness of an agricultural communications academic program. Results indicated that “a large percentage of graduates in the field are currently employed in the field and, for the most part, satisfied with their jobs.” Overall job satisfaction “seemed to increase with age and M.S. graduates appeared to have a higher level of satisfaction than B.S. graduates.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Job satisfaction as an outcome”) or author search (Irani) for the full citation.

When FFA was king of the radio airwaves. 

That is the title of a recent journal article that explored the history of national radio broadcasts involving the youth organization FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America. John Hillison and Sharon Williams reported that national radio broadcasts for FFA began in 1930 when the public speaking contest finals were aired on Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). The “National Farm and Home Hour” on National Broadcasting Company (NBC) featured FFA activities between 1931 and 1944. Citing newer technologies such as satellite-delivered television, authors suggested that agricultural educators “use all available media to communicate the positive aspects of agriculture.”

Reference: Use a title search (“When FFA was king”) or author search (Hillison) for the full citation.

Farmer view of “hitting the wall.” 

What happens if/when weeds develop resistance to herbicides used on crops? A study among 132 grain growers in Western Australia explored their perceptions about the “resistance wall.” Findings revealed that growers were aware of herbicide resistance and felt that it imposes a significant cost upon them. Several misconceptions appeared. For example:

  •    Many growers expected that weed populations would lose their resistance if use of the herbicide were stopped temporarily.
  •     Many growers felt the industry would be able to develop new modes of action of herbicides to deal with resistant biotypes.
  •     A substantial number of growers suspected that resistance would develop in their fields regardless of how they managed the land.

Findings offered useful guidance for communicating with growers about their crop management practices to address this challenge.

Reference: Use a title search (“Farmer perceptions of the herbicide”) or author search (Pannell) for the full citation. The report was posted online at:

Economists will need communications training and new incentive systems if their policy-oriented research is to have full impact.

That conclusion came from a November 2001 workshop sponsored by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Researchers at the workshop identified a number of ways – including communications – for social scientists to increase the chances of having policy impact.

“Researchers must not only present their findings in peer-reviewed publications, but also convey their messages to a largely economically illiterate public via effective oral communication. To fill this new role, economists will require training and new incentive systems.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Impact evaluation”) or author search (International Food Policy Research Institute) for the full citation. The workshop report was posted online at:

Agricultural communications research papers.

Here are titles of 14 agricultural communications papers presented during the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists meeting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year:

  • “How to succeed in writing Internet CGI scripts without really trying to become a programmer”
  • “The University of Florida’s distance education faculty training program”
  • “Associated Press wire service coverage of agricultural issues”
  • “Developing an institutional marketing program”
  • “How to distribute daily news updates to a web site”
  • “Turned on or tuned out? Examining message effectiveness on awareness and attitudes toward low-level risks” (invasive species)
  • “Virtual community: a concept ripe for harvest” (electronic newsletter)
  • “AGNEWS: a new look meant visuals for this web site”
  • “What do you know? An organized method for increasing science news”
  • “Print to video: how print reporters became video producers for the Internet”
  • “When the media throw a slow curve, get ahead of it: marketing biotechnology to Georgia media”
  • “Avoiding ‘foot in mouth’ disease: attempts at crisis communications planning among state agencies in Texas”
  • “Hosting a state-level agricultural communications career development event”
  • “Media relations in a wired world: MediaLink 2001″You can see them online at:

    Professional activities approaching.

    June 20-22, 2002
    “Catch the spirit.” Seminar of American Horse Publications at Park City, Utah.

    June 20-22, 2002
    “NAFB – back to the heartland.” Summer meeting of National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    June 22-25, 2002
    “Take the road less traveled.” Annual Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) at Burlington, Vermont.

    July 22-25, 2002
    “Hit the jackpot in Reno!” Agricultural Publications Summit, fourth annual joint meeting of American Agricultural Editors’ Association, Livestock Publications Council, APA: the Association of Leading Ag Media Companies, and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. Meeting at Reno, Nevada.
    Information: orwww.livestockpublications.comBack to top

    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 unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 69 Mumford Hall, 1301 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801) or electronic form (

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