ACDC News – Issue 06-09

Effects of a rural newspaper revolution. 

Media South Asia has published a two-part series about the impacts of recent efforts by some newspapers in India to generate more local news through district editions.

“By increasing distribution centres, using an improved road network to reach newspapers further into the hinterland by early morning, and hiring stringers to send news from very local centres for separate district pages, publishers are making an aggressive push to increase their circulation.”

You can learn from these reports about the techniques used and impacts observed among rural families and communities.

Title: Does the rural newspaper revolution promote development? Part I
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Title: Does the rural newspaper revolution promote development? Part II
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New communication initiatives in peri-urban agriculture. 

Thanks to Harsoyo Oedijono, an agricultural communications faculty member at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia, for alerting us to recent networking initiatives involving peri-urban agriculture. Connections between urban and rural sectors of all nations call for more attention. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and other development agencies are taking active steps to address nutritional, health, environmental and other urgent issues at the rural-urban interface of societies. According to CGIAR, “Urban agriculture is far more than farms or gardens in an urban environment. Urban agriculture includes livestock raising, water management, and organic waste management.”
For example:

An information network, Peri Urban Development in South East Asia (PUDSEA), was established in 2001 to involve several Asian and European universities in such an effort.

Effective communication will be a key to the success of such endeavors and we wish to actively scout for information to address that challenge. Can you help? Please call our attention to documents about the communication aspects of urban and peri-urban agriculture.

Water music: a multimedia environmental message. 

A creative approach to public education about protecting the Earth’s waters has taken shape through the efforts of art and magazine photographer Marjorie Ryerson and associates. Her book, Water Music, features 100 of her water photos, accompanied by “the writings and musical contributions of 66 world renowned musicians, who have creatively responded to the meaning and value of water in their lives.”

All net royalties go to the Water Music Fund of the United Nations Foundation. In addition, a larger Water Music Project – involving concerts, lectures, educational programs and other events – will add revenue to the Fund.

For consideration: What new and creative multimedia approaches to public education might highlight important dimensions of food and agriculture?

Title: Water music
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How consumers view the globalization of food.

We have added to the ACDC collection a Journal of Food Distribution Research article featuring results of two U.S. consumer surveys, one in South Carolina and one nationwide. Questions covered aspects such as:

  • What words consumers associate with “globalization”
  • How globalization has affected their personal lives and communities
  • Their comparative views about seven attributes of domestic and imported foods
  • Foods for which they are willing to pay more, in terms of production practices and location of production
  • Safety of various kinds of food
  • Their opinions about genetically modified crops and foods
  • Trustworthiness of nine sources of information about the safety of food

Title: The globalization of food
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Topics seldom addressed in the U.S. farm press? 

Al Tompkins, columnist for Poyteronline, (published by the Poynter Institute) has addressed several of such topics during the past year or so. Here are three of his columns we added recently to the ACDC collection:

Title: Rural areas still pay highest price in Iraq war
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Title: Farmers and suicide
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Title: Fraud on the farm
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Bookings close May 31 for this year’s 50th anniversary congress of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ).

It takes place in Norway during August 12-16, using the theme “Feed Your Senses.” The congress will be held at Hamar, one of Norway ‘s most versatile farming regions, a short drive from picturesque mountain ranges and valleys. The program includes briefing sessions on agricultural and trade issues; excursions looking at dairying, pig production, culture and food, forestry, science/biotech and horticulture; and professional development seminars. Both pre- and post- congress tour packages are also available. For more information and to register, visit

Communicator activities approaching

June 2-6, 2006
“Excellence en communications.” International conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE), in Quebec, Ontario, Canada.

June 13, 2006
“Getting the word out. Are we communicating effectively?” A food safety communicators conference hosted by the Food Safety Network at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

June 17-20, 2006
“Brewing success.” 2006 Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Portland, Oregon.

June 19-23, 2006
“Networking communication research.” Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Dresden, Germany.

An egg poem.

We close this issue of ACDC News with a poem contributed to Farm Journal magazine by “A. L. B.” in 1914. You may notice how little the egg prices to producers have increased during these past 92 years.

The eggs my hens do lay each day
Are as a heap of coins to me;
I count them every one apart,
My treasury, my treasury.

Each egg four cents – four cents in cash –
To fill a purse long since wrung dry;
I count each egg within each nest
And pray the price keep high.

O pullets dear that cluck and lay!
O fat old hens with yellow legs!
I stroke your plumes, barred, white and gray,
And sell your eggs, dear hens –
And sell your eggs.

Title: An egg poem

Best regards and good searching.

When you see interesting items you cannot find locally or online, get in touch with us at Tell us the titles and/or document numbers. We will help you gain access.

Please pass along your reactions, suggestions and ideas for the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. 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, IL 61801) or electronic form at

May, 2006


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