ACDC News – Issue 06-17

The rural roots of service journalism.

Recently we added to the ACDC collection an article that featured a pioneering U. S. agricultural publisher, Edwin T. Meredith. He founded Successful Farming (1902), still published today by Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa. He also served as U. S. Secretary of Agriculture.

According to author Gael L. Cooper, “Meredith’s primary legacy was in the field of journalism, where he gave force to a publishing concept now called “Service Journalism.”

Title: Edwin Thomas Meredith: service was his secret to magazine success

What keeps food companies from openly communicating? 

Here is how e-version readers of the Food Systems Insider newsletter responded to that question:

Competition 31.8 percent
Legal fears 18.2 percent
Accountability 4.5 percent
All of the above 36.4 percent

This brief summary of the online survey includes a reader’s caution that times are changing. If the food company does not have a good story to tell about a product “someone will be willing to share the real story for you.”

Posted at (E-newsletter issue of November 18, 2005 )

“A marketplace of misleading labels.” 

Commentator Herb Weisbaum recently took after food marketers that use “misleading labels…to grab a shopper’s attention and move product.” Among the examples cited:

  • “Whole wheat” products with “very little whole wheat.”
  • A “peach papaya drink” that contains mostly water, sweeteners and some pear juice – no peach or papaya juice.
  • Create-your-own definitions of “natural” foods.
  • “Trans fat free,” easily interpreted to mean fat free.

Title: When grocery shopping, read the fine print 
Posted at:

Recognizing the pioneers and concepts of development communication.

Several journals recently published informative historical reviews of the discipline and practice of development communication. They describe six schools of thought about development communication, from the 1940s to date: Latin American, Bretton Woods, Los Baños, African, Indian and Post-Freire (Participatory). The articles also recognize pioneering contributions of Dr. Nora Quebral, University of the Philippines at Los Baños.

“CFSC pioneer: honouring Nora Quebral.”
Posted at

“Manifesto for development communication: Nora Quebral and the Los Baños School of development communication”

“Nora Cruz Quebral: writer and thinker par excellence” Posted at:

Thanks to a contributor in Australia. 

ACDC staff recently added documents that focus on new food labeling policies in Australia and New Zealand. Our thanks go to Tanoj K. Singh, a research scientist for Food Science Australia.

Singh contributed a consumer brochure, “Country of Origin Food Labelling.” Published by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, it describes recent changes in rules for such labels. Also, a 2006 report on Australia’s dairy industry includes survey data showing that since 2004 producers have become more confident about the future of the industry.

Title: Country of origin food labelling
Posted at:

Title: Dairy 2006, situation and outlook: report to the Australian dairy industry 
Posted at:

We appreciate these contributions and welcome agricultural communications documents from any community or region.

Communicator activities approaching

October 1, 2006
Deadline for research or professional papers to be submitted to the Agricultural Communications section of the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists meeting February 3-7, 2007, in Mobile, Alabama.

October 8-11, 2006
“Delivering information for the new life sciences.” U. S. Agricultural Information Network conference at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

October 12-13, 2006
“Newspapers and community-building.” Twelfth annual symposium co-sponsored by the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media and the National Newspaper Association Foundation in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

October 25-27, 2006
World Congress on Communication for Development in Rome, Italy. Organized by the Development Communication Division, World Bank; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; and The Communication Initiative.

October 25-29, 2006
Annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Burlington, Vermont USA. Information:

November 9-11, 2006
Fifth Conference of the Asian Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture. (AFITA) in Bangalore, India.

November 15-17, 2006
“Farm and rural horizons.” Annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) in Kansas City, Missouri USA.

 So you follow the classified ads?

In that case, we close this issue of ACDC News with several from the Advertisers’ Almanack, as reported in a 1908 issue of Agricultural Advertising magazine.

•  For sale – Capes, victorines, etc., made up for ladies out of their own skins.
•  Wanted – A furnished room for a single gentleman looking both ways and well ventilated.
•  For sale – A bulldog. Will eat anything. Very fond of children.

Please get in touch with us when you see in this collection interesting items you cannot find, locally or online.

Reach 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 the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center. Feel free to invite our help as you search for information. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications 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

September 2006

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