ACDC News – Issue 06-23

Less protesting, more collaborating. 

“Not long ago, when it was still the in-your-face Environmental Defense Fund, the group would have looked for a company to sue, boycott or at least protest. Nowadays, it is looking for companies that can help it out.”

Claudia H. Deutsch used that lead-in to introduce readers of the New York Times to examples of “a new spirit of compromise” between corporations and environmentalists. Cases cited include collaborations that involve food safety, endangered forests, biotechnology and other topics related to agriculture.

Title: Companies and critics try collaboration 
Posted on the open web at

And a more engaging approach by Parks Canada. 

Increased collaboration also is the theme of a new communications strategy by that government agency to engage Canadians in managing their natural resources. Dawn Bronson described this strategy in a chapter of Communicating Protected Areas. The author reported these early results:

  • A stronger, more cohesive national identity
  • Improved relations with key stakeholder groups
  • Better issue management
  • Recognition of the importance of education – building support from the next generation of Canadians

Title: Engaging Canadians 
Posted at:

Payoffs to telecommuting from rural and urban areas.

We have added to the ACDC collection a working paper about home use of computers and the Internet in rural and urban U. S. markets. The Iowa State University researchers found:

“Differences in broadband access explain three-fourths of the gap in telecommuting between urban and rural markets. Correcting for endogeneity, telecommuters and other IT users do not earn significantly more than otherwise observationally comparable workers. Instead, it is the already highly skilled and highly paid workers that are the most likely to telecommute, not that they earn more because they telecommute. The results suggest that as broadband access improves in rural markets, the urban-rural gap in telecommuting will diminish.”

Title: Broadband access, telecommuting and the urban-rural digital divide 
Posted at:

Young Americans “clueless in the kitchen.”

 Results of a national survey suggest that “while most 18-34 year olds have some concept of proper kitchen protocol, there are distinct gaps in their knowledge.” Here are the two biggest kitchen mysteries (and communications opportunities) identified in this survey sponsored by the American Plastics Council:

•  Keeping and using leftovers. One-third (35 percent) of respondents cited this as their single biggest kitchen mystery.
•  Storing frozen food. When asked about freezer storage, 32 percent said knowing “what to store food in to prevent freezer burn” is the biggest mystery.

Title: Clueless in the kitchen 
Posted at:

“Whither the fight against fake news?” 

That question introduced a 2005 report we entered recently from the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of PR Watch. The report focused on discussions about regulations involving video news releases (VNRs).

One aspect involved concerns about the balance and appropriateness of government-funded VNRs. An example cited in the report centered on VNRs released by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in connection with a controversial trade agreement with Central America.

Posted at:

What to teach aspiring communicators during an era of globalization.

In a recent issue of Glocal Times, Nora Quebral focused on implications of globalization for the undergraduate curriculum in development communication. She suggested seven features of a model curriculum that can address the challenging implications of globalization. Among the features she cited:

  • Encourages openness to diverse ideas coming from many sources of knowledge.
  • Grounds students in the basics of development in general “and on the particulars of economic, social, political, cultural, moral and spiritual development, taught in integrative courses.”
  • Teaches students the principles, values and skills that will prepare them for a profession of service.
  • Integrates information technology into the curriculum as an added tool.

Title: Development communication in a borderless world 
Posted at

Surprises. Where we sometimes find valuable documents. 

The journals in which we locate information about agriculture-related communications continue to impress us by their diversity. Here are a few recent examples of such journals:

Tourism Management
Computer Systems News
Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report
Social Science and Medicine
Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
Information Development
French History

Communicator activity approaching

February 5-6, 2007
Agricultural Communications Section of the 2007 Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists (SAAS) conference in Mobile, Alabama USA.
Conference information: 
Ag Com Section web site:

Holiday greetings – and thanks – from the ACDC team.

All of us in the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center extend special greetings to you at this holiday season. And thank you for your interest, encouragement and assistance during 2006 in developing this special information resource. Volunteers and contributors provide much of what helps it grow and serve.


  • Sara Thompson, Center
  • Joe Zumalt, Administrative
  • Ryan Rogers, Research Programming

Student assistants:

  • Kelly Wagahoff
  • Kathy Novotney


  • Liz Kellaway
  • Paul Hixson
  • Jim Evans

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, questions, 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

December 2006

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