ACDC News – Issue 05-23

Information technology – a channel to narcissism? 

This challenging question emerged from a rural case study reported in Management Communication Quarterly. Through four years of discourse analysis, researcher Shev Ganesh examined the role and use of information and communication technology (ICT) within an India-headquartered non-governmental organization devoted to rural development.

Discourse revealed a change of focus for an online ICT system, DVLINK, which the organization established. “Tracing the development of DVLINK is interesting because it documents a process where the initial emphasis was on the needs of other organizations, to a state where emphasis was on DV’s own needs.” Focus shifted to “preservation and enhancement of the organization’s own capabilities, with little attention to larger questions of ethics and accountability.”

Let us know if you have seen other studies or examples of this phenomenon.

Reference: Organizational narcissism

Considerably more attention to labeling.

Labeling is clearly a growth area in agricultural communication literature. The ACDC collection now contains more than 450 documents about labeling, most of them published within the past decade. What began in this collection as primarily information about pesticide labeling has shifted during the years to other kinds of labeling, such as:

  • Nutrition labeling
  • Labeling of organic food
  • Labeling of genetically modified food
  • Country of origin labeling (COOL) of food products
  • Systems for tracking origins, locations and inventories of food products (for example, Radio Frequency Identification [RFID] systems)

We welcome your help in identifying and gathering articles, reports and other documents about labeling, as related to food and agriculture.

Reference: On the ACDC Database Search page, conduct Subject searches using terms such as:
<Labeling>; <RFID>; <organic labeling>; <COOL>; and <biotechnology labeling>.

Junk the jargon.

Nalaka Gunawardene, director of the non-profit organization, TVE Asia Pacific, offered that advice recently to those involved in development.

“…development workers speak in jargon, using countless acronyms that obfuscate rather than communicate,” he observed. “Scientists, who often complain that the public does not understand their work, tend to make exactly the same mistake – with similar results.”

“We just need to better engage the human beings we are trying to empower.”

Reference: Simpler words are needed 
Posted on the Science and Development Network at:

Great need for cancer information in rural areas.

A 2005 article in the Journal of Health Communication reported the results of research among residents and physicians in rural Kansas. Authors concluded: “There is a great need for widespread dissemination of cancer information resources in rural areas.”

Reference: Cancer information needs in rural areas

Who will speak up for modern agriculture? 

Gary Truitt of Brownfield Network raised that question recently in Farm World. He argued that “agriculture needs some popular books that tell the true story of modern agriculture. This is not a ‘how your food is produced’ book, but one that explains to people that they will live longer, eat better, and enjoy a more profitable and sustainable world thanks to modern agriculture, technology, and the farm families who use it.”

Reference: Who will speak up

Communicator activities approaching

January 6, 2006
Deadline for proposing presentations, panel discussions, workshops or posters to be presented at the 2006 National Extension Technology Conference (NETC), University of Florida, Gainesville, May 8-11.

February 4-8, 2006
Annual meeting and conference of the Agricultural Communications Section, Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS), in Orlando, Florida.

March 1, 2006
Registrations due for the 2006 conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education in Clearwater, Florida, May 14-17, 2006.

March 6-8, 2006
“Practice change for sustainable communities.” Conference of the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) in Beechworth, Victoria, Australia.

March 23-25, 2006
Spring meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council in Memphis, Tennessee.
Information: Jeri Mattix Omernik of Rocky Mountain Marketing Communications at:

Other needed agri-words? 

Thanks to a kind reader who alerted us to several possibilities among the 2005 winners of The Washington Post Mensa Invitational. This mental exercise involves taking any word from the dictionary, altering it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supplying a new definition. We close this issue with a few potential agri-words from the Mensa Invitational:

Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
Caterpallor: The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you are eating.

Can you add others? If so, let us know.

Posted at various sites, including:

When you see interesting items you cannot find online or locally

Get in touch with us at Tell us the titles and/or document numbers. We will help you gain access.

Best regards and good searching. 

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions, and ideas for ACDC. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communication documents we might add to this unique collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Com Documentation Center, 510 LIAC, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801) or electronic form at

December, 2005

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