ACDC News – Issue 02-10

Why the “fast hare of information is out stepping the slow tortoise of meaning formation.” 

In a recent journal article about development communication, Anita Jhamtani and Premlata Singh reported their findings on the concept of lag as it applies to information overload in the formation of meaning. They identified several ways in which to reduce what they call the meaning lag in rural communication.

Reference: Use a title search (“Meaning lag”) or author search (Jhamtani) for the full citation.

Listening to audiences.

As you explore the ACDC collection online you might keep in mind that it contains many studies about intrapersonal communicating — about matters such as attitudes, perceptions, knowledge level, decision making and adoption of innovations.

For example, a subject search on the term “attitudes” will reveal more than 1,200 documents. You can then conduct cross-subject searches to focus more closely on various topics and audiences. Here are a few cross-subject possibilities that illustrate various kinds of intrapersonal communicating:

  •      farmers attitudes conservation [i.e., farmer attitudes toward conservation]
  •      “public attitudes” “food safety”
  •      farmers attitudes biotechnology
  •      farmers “decision making”
  •      attitudes agribusiness
  •      adoption internet

We look actively for this kind of material because it can serve communications planners and strategists, as well as students, teachers, researchers and others. Please let us know whenever you can provide – or direct us to – such documents to strengthen this important part of the collection.

“Don’t overlook farm radio,” 

Suggested Keith Evans in a recent article in the Angus Journal magazine. He reviewed strengths and limitations of farm radio, encouraged purebred beef producers to consider using it for advertising and offered tips for using it effectively.

Reference: Use a title search (overlook farm radio) or author search (Evans) for the full citation. The article was posted online in the March 2002 issue of NAFB Chats at

Where did it go wrong? 

Authors of a journal article asked this question after they reviewed the placement record and surveyed alumni of an agricultural communication degree program in India. Niraj Kumar and B. Kumar studied the postgraduate curriculum established in 1981 at G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India. Findings revealed that “the programme failed to create expected interest in potential graduates.” Among the problem areas found: “theory loaded” rather than skill oriented courses, overlap and gaps in course content, shortage of supporting reading materials, limited use of media in teaching and lack of publicity.

Reference: Use a title search (“Relevance of postgraduate degree”) or author search (Kumar) for the full citation. .

Ag journalism is growing greener, 

According to an article in the March/April 2002 issue ByLine, newsletter of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association. Author Kathy Johnston noted that “After years of glaring warily at each other from opposite sides of the fence, agriculturists, environmentalists and journalists are finding new ways to coexist.” She sited examples of cooperation and expressed support for journalism that moves beyond “spinning stories to fit preconceived ideas, and presenting intricate issues in a black-and-white, good-versus-evil format.”

A letter to the editor in the May issue of ByLine described this article as “inaccurate, biased and full of holes.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Ag journalism is growing greener”) or author search (Johnston) for the full citation. The article and following letter to the editor were posted online at:

More food recalls. More consumer confusion? 

A cited Wall Street Journal article reported recently on U.S. Department of Agriculture news about a 14 percent increase in food recalls during the past year. The article noted that, whatever the causes of this increase, “it is clear that there are now so many recalls that it is difficult for both average consumers and sophisticated users to know about and act on all the warnings.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Public ignoring product recalls”) for the full citation. The article is archived online at

Biotechnology in the public mind these days. 

Here are a few of the documents that we have entered recently about public attitudes, knowledge levels and buying actions related to food biotechnology in various countries:

State farm magazines consolidating.

A news report announces that in July the Farm Progress Companies will consolidate 23 state magazines into six. These are in the western, southern and northeastern areas of the United States. Eleven midwestern state magazines and the California Farmer will continue publishing as they are today. Prairie Farmer will expand its coverage area from Illinois and Indiana to include western Kentucky’s corn and soybean production area.

“These changes position all of our titles to serve individual markets large enough for each to sustain a successful publishing effort,” according to President Chuck Roth. In the face of economic pressures that squeeze localized coverage, Farm Progress is preparing to expand the number of pages it publishes within these redefined circulation areas. “We are more committed than ever to serving local interests.”

Reference: Use a title search (“Farm Progress unveils initiatives”) for the full citation.

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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