April News and Research from the ACDC– Issue 24-04

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News media in rural communities not covering local matters

Results of a 2019 Pew Research Center national survey indicated that only 41 percent of U.S. rural residents said their local news media mostly cover their areas, compared with 62 percent of urban residents. This gap is cited as “a concern raised by many journalism watchers following newsroom cutbacks and media consolidation.”

As a possible result, 69 percent of rural residents indicated their local news media do not have much influence.

You can read “For many rural residents in U.S., local news media mostly don’t cover…” by open access.

Participatory photography and thematic collages: pathways to adoption

A research team from the University of Reading (UK) collaborated recently with members of a women’s self-help group in India to explore this interactive approach to rural development. They used individual photo creativity and group discussion to understand more clearly the subjective motivations and social-cultural factors which influence adoption of zero budget natural farming. It emphasizes chemical-free inputs and regenerative farming technologies.

You can read “Thematic collages in participatory photography” by open access in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods.

Factors affecting trust in Chinese digital journalism

“Trust in online digital news has become a significant concern affecting social cohesion in China. Under the framework of folk theories, we interviewed urban and rural residents’ perceptions and imaginations of digital news credibility in China’s digital journalism environment.” So indicated the authors of this 2023 article in Media and Communication.

Among their findings:
• Digital media giants in China were used by both urban and rural residents.
• Skepticism of digital news accounted for only a tiny fraction of the reasons held by news avoiders.
• Urban and rural residents had similar perceptions about the impact of news forms, quality of information and individual stances on digital news.
• Rural residents showed uncertainty about the transparency of news production.
• News seekers were more likely to display herd behaviors, which may mislead their judgment of news credibility.
• News avoiders may refuse to consume news because of their distaste for China’s digital news atmosphere.

You can read “Factors affecting trust in Chinese digital journalism” by open access.

Farm-based causes and solutions for fruit and vegetable waste

A 2024 article in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability addressed this issue in Romania. Authors emphasized that farmers are “the most important stakeholders in minimizing fruit and vegetable waste in primary production, and any intervention must consider their attitudes and perspectives.” Results of a qualitative analysis process showed that farmers defined such waste as discarded produce, excluding items used for compost or animal feed. Three indirect causes of farm-based produce waste emerged:

• Consumers’ preference for supermarkets and perfectly-shaped fruits and vegetables
• Difficulties farmers face in accessing supermarkets
• Difficulties they face in marketing imperfect fruits and vegetables

Authors called for (a) inclusive food policies that prioritize local knowledge and (b) farmers to tailor solutions for reducing fruit and vegetable waste.

You can read “Causes and solutions for fruit and vegetable waste” by open access.

Marketing to the rural lifestyle audience

We are adding to the ACDC collection results of an analysis which focused on marketing to about 46 million U.S. residents living in rural places. Author Sara Steever, president of Paulsen marketing agency, reported findings about the characteristics, attitudes, activities, media preferences and purchase intent of rural residents who own land for self-fulfillment rather than profit.

She indicated that the findings can help marketers create specific content, develop new products and services, optimize their media investment, attract and retain customers and build brand loyalty.

You can read “Marketing to the rural lifestyle audience” by open access.

Communicator events approaching

Here are event plans you may find helpful, with contact information you can use for details. We welcome suggestions or revisions for this calendar.

May 16-18, 2024. “Return to horse country.” Conference of American Horse Publications (AHP) in Lexington, Kentucky. Information: https://www.americanhorsepubs.org/ahp-annual-conference/

June 2-4, 2024. “Center of Communication.” Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) Institute in Des Moines, Iowa. Information: https://www.communicators.coop/professional-development/cca-institute/

June 18-20, 2024. Annual meeting of the Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Information: https://www.agrelationscouncil.org/agricultural-relations-council-annual-meeting/

June 18-23, 2024. Conference of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE) in Toronto, Canada.
Information: https://www.iswne.org/conferences/

June 20-24, 2024. “Communication and global human rights.” Annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Gold Coast, Australia. Information: https://www.icahdq.org/mpage/ica24/

June 23-25, 2024. “Big ideas start here.” Annual conference of the Association of Communication Excellence (ACE) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Information: https://aceweb.org/ace-conference/

Said of certain cattle thieves

As boosters of brevity, we close this issue of ACDC News with a concise, revealing euphemism about the fate of certain cattle thieves. It caught our eye in the book, Cow People, by J. Frank Dobie:

“They quit breathing.”

Best regards and wishes

ACDC is a deep and open resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information, local to global. You are welcome to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valued international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, 510 ACES Library, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

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