ACDC News – Issue 21-4

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“What Hollywood can teach researchers about scientific storytelling”

Screenwriting classes and a TV production internship have boosted the science communication skills of Josh Ettinger, author of this 2020 career column in Nature.  As a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford, UK, he suggested that scientists should learn from screenwriters, who are experts in creating narratives.

 

You can read the advice he offered from his screenwriting experience here.


When academic reports become media narratives: bridging the language gap

A viewpoint article we have added from the journal Food Policy called attention to that gap. It appeared through an examination of ethics in the practice of agricultural and applied economics. University-based agricultural and resource economists Anna Josephson and Jeffrey Michler discussed ethical issues that arise during the collection, management, and analysis of data. They also addressed ethical issues that agricultural and applied economists face as they formulate, fund, and disseminate their research.

“Bridging the ‘language gap’ between researchers and journalists is key to reducing distortions introduced when academic stories become media narratives,” the authors emphasized. They suggested “working to educate both sides of the discourse” as a way to help ensure less information is lost in translation.

 

You can read the article by open access here.


Environmental journalists speak out about racial equality in news organizations

 “The Society of Environmental Journalists stands with journalists of color who are shedding light on systemic racism, inequities, and discrimination inside and outside of the newsroom.”  This statement introduced a declaration which SEJ adopted recently.

 

You can read the two-page document here.


Strong potentials for academic libraries in partnering with communities

Libraries at colleges and universities are uniquely well suited to become a productive force for researcher-community partnerships, according to a 2021 research report we have added to the ACDC collection. In findings reported in the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, a team of researchers concluded that academic libraries can:

  • Offer expertise in teaching research inquiry skills
  • Facilitate collaborative work throughout the research process
  • Provide space and other material resources for research
  • Curate the “too-often-hidden intellectual resource of research support staff”

 

You can read this journal article by open access here.


How not to write about African cuisines: a guide for American food journalism

We have added to the ACDC collection a research essay with suggestions for broadening the American culinary canon.  Writing in Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies, Naa Baako Ako-Adjei observed that despite some broadening of the American palate, Americans have shown little interest in the cuisines of Sub-Saharan Africa.  Noted reason: “…limited and often stereotyped representations of African cuisines by food journalists and restaurant reviewers in newspapers and gourmet food magazines.”

 

“…it is important that food journalists not reinforce stereotypes about African cuisines, such as that they are undifferentiated from one another or that they are interchangeable with Southern cuisine (or Brazilian or Caribbean cuisines). Also, discussions about war and famine in restaurant reviews should no longer be axiomatic.”

 

You can read the essay by open access here.


Communicator events approaching

Uncertainties of the COVID-19 health issue continue to prompt flexible event planning. Here are plans of which we are aware, with contact information you can use for details.

May 20-22, 2021

“Back in the Saddle” American Horse Publications Equine Media Conference for members, in Irving, Texas. AHP is celebrating 50 years.

Information: https://www.americanhorsepubs.org/ahp-annual-conference/

June 6-9, 2021

“Connect. Create. Achieve” 2021 Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Information at: https://communicators.coop/professional-development/cca-institute

July 20-22, 2021

“Breaking New Ground.” 2021 Agri-Marketing Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

Information: https://nama.org/agri-marketing-conference.html

June 21-23, 2021

“Elevating Voices.” Virtual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE).

Information: https://aceweb.org/conference


Swedish writer wins Science Fiction Award

We close this issue of ACDC News with a second winner in the 2020 Bullwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. As mentioned last month, it is a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose opening sentences to the worst of all possible novels. The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored it since 1982.  This winning entry in the Science Fiction category caught our attention because it featured communicating about food. It came from David Hynes of Bromma, Sweden:

 

“You folks from outa town?” inquired waitress Ginny, shifting her wad of gum, notepad at the ready to take orders, while the slime-green, scale-covered, three-eyed members of the Dzznks family, who had traveled many a parsec from their rock planet home in the Large Magellanic Cloud, rubbering their eyes over the menu in Buck’s Diner, wondered if ‘grits” tasted just as good as they sounded.”


Best regards and wishes

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget 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, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACDC News – Issue 21-03

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Environmental freelancing during COVID-19

Several timely themes emerged from an international panel webinar about this subject, as reported in the August 12 e-newsletter of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ):

  • Finding stories
  • Staying afloat
  • Professional development
  • Pitching stories
  • Protecting your health
  • The future of freelancing

 

You can read the news summary by Karen Schaefer here.


“Agriculture’s new name game”

A 2018 editorial in CropLife magazine noted how names are changing as “many sectors of the ag business have been engaged in a series of mergers, consolidations, and outright buy-ups. “ Editor Eric Sfiligoj mentioned several examples of names changed and names dropped.  He concluded: “As always, only time will tell how long-standing any of these new names end up being.”

 

You can read this editorial by open access here.


Lessons on rural development communication from the writings of Mahatma Gandhi

Four recommendations emerged from researcher Pratima Mutyala’s search for such lessons. She used literature review and comparative analysis to reveal conceptual links between contemporary literature on participatory communication and Indian freedom fight leader Mahatma Gandhi’s writings about rural development. Findings reported in a 2019 issue of the Journal for Development Communication emphasized these ingredients for development efforts:

  1. Participatory orientation of beneficiaries
  2. Thorough research into the development issue in the context of a given community
  3. Involvement of local people at every stage of the project
  4. Orientation for development officers and volunteers

 

You can read the article by online open access here.


Fresh signs of sparse media reporting about farm safety

 A 2020 article in the Journal of Agromedicine featured evidence in Canada that preventive messages are rare in media reporting of farm injuries – and have decreased over time. The team of public health researchers used 2010-2017 information in a database maintained by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA). It gathers publicly available news media reports of agricultural injuries and fatalities.

This analysis identified 856 relevant articles during the period, only 6.3% of which included a preventive message. Fewer than 3% contained what was considered a strong preventive message that provided appropriate advice, information for services, or prevention strategies. A prior study (based on 2007-2009 CASA data) had found that 24% of identified articles included a preventive message, with 10% of them considered strong.

 

You can read the abstract with terms and conditions for full-text access at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1059924X.2020.1720881. Or confer with us at acdc@library.illinois.edu


Environmental journalists speak out about racial equality in news organizations

“The Society of Environmental Journalists stands with journalists of color who are shedding light on systemic racism, inequities, and discrimination inside and outside of the newsroom.”  This statement introduced a declaration which SEJ adopted recently.

 

You can read the two-page document here.


Communicator events approaching

Uncertainties of the COVID-19 health issue continue to prompt flexible event planning. Here are plans of which we are aware, with contact information you can use for details.

April 12-15, 2021

“Mediterranean Agriculture, Food and Environment.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Information: https://aiaee2021.wordpress.com/

May 20-22, 2021

“Back in the Saddle” American Horse Publications Equine Media Conference for members, in Irving, Texas. AHP is celebrating 50 years.

Information: https://www.americanhorsepubs.org/ahp-annual-conference/

June 6-9, 2021

“Meet up in Milwaukee” 2021 Institute of the Cooperative Communicators Association in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Information at: https://communicators.coop/professional-development/cca-institute

June 21-23, 2021

“Elevating Voices.” Virtual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE)

Information: https://aceweb.org/Conference


Writing entry related to food earns 2020 Grand Prize 

We close this issue of ACDC News with the Grand Prize entry in the 2020 Bullwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. You may recall the contest as we monitor it regularly. It is a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose opening sentences to the worst of all possible novels. The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored it since 1982.  This Grand Prize entry catches our eye because it involves communicating about food. Congratulations to winning author Lisa Kluber of San Francisco, California:

 

“Her Dear John missive flapped unambiguously in the windy breeze, hanging like a pizza menu on the doorknob of my mind.”


Best regards and wishes

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget 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, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-02

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Hearty welcome to Eric Morgan 

On January 2, Dr. Eric Morgan became a faculty member in the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC) Program at the University of Illinois. He will work with colleagues in advancing the agricultural communications curriculum (undergraduate and graduate), teaching courses, and helping students and professionals communicate effectively and grow in their careers.

Eric joins from New Mexico State University where he led the Department of Communication Studies. His research and teaching interests center on intercultural, environmental, and science communication.  His doctoral dissertation at the University of Massachusetts involved communication about the environment in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and he has received the Tarla Rae Peterson Book Award in Environmental Communication as co-editor of Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice.  His teaching honors include the Donald C. Roush Award for Teaching Excellence at New Mexico State University and national recognition for expanding opportunities for students to gain intercultural communication experience abroad.

“I am very excited that Dr. Morgan is joining our team,” reports ALEC Director David Rosch.  “He possesses multiple decades of experience as a scholar of communication, which will provide great complementary with the rest of our faculty and allow us to teach an ever-broader range of courses to students than we have in the past.”


“Why general artificial intelligence will not be realized”

University of Bergen (Norway) researcher Ragnar Fjelland published an article of that title in a 2020 issue of Humanities and Social Sciences Communications.  It focuses on the distinction between artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) and artificial general intelligence (AGI).

“…although development of artificial intelligence for specific purposes has been impressive, we have not come much closer to developing artificial general intelligence,” Fjelland observed. Nor does he expect it.

 

You can read this article by open access here.


Recent data on views of food consumers about plant alternatives to animal meat

A 2020 survey among adult U.S. consumers identified their views about the healthfulness and labeling of plant alternatives to animal meat. Among the findings:

  • After comparing nutrition information, more respondents said the plant alternative is healthier than ground beef
  • Vitamin and mineral information was most influential for those who said the plant alternative is more healthy
  • Sodium content was most influential for those who said ground beef is more healthy
  • 40% said a burger made from plants is healthier than one made from ground beef
  • 66% identified themselves as omnivores

 

You can read the 43-page report from the International Food Information Council here.


Learning to listen from the margins: toward justice for marginalized women farmers

Findings reported during early 2020 in Communication Theory emphasized communicative justice through voluntary village-level associations of cooperating women farmers from low-income households. Researchers Mohan Dutta and Jagadish Thaker moved beyond diffusion theory and the long-dominant “patriarchal construction of development as a catalyst for economic growth.” They presented results of a culture-centered collaboration in a village in Andhra Pradesh, India.  The participating women conceived, designed, and delivered their development effort, based on their knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices in their lived experiences. They managed:

  • agricultural resources (land, seed bank, and an alternative public distribution system) and
  • communicative infrastructures (community radio programming, advocacy, interventions)

 

Considerations and experiences reported in this article may be relevant and useful in any culture. You can read “Sustainability, ecology, and agriculture in women farmers’ voices” online by open access.


Greater potentials for partnerships of science and graphic arts

A pilot project testing collaboration between scientists and graphic designers “paid off in terms of powerfully communicated graphic art and scientists’ clearer conceptualization of their own work.”  Authors of this 2019 article in Communications Biology described their project and offered recommendations. They concluded that the benefits of scientist-artist collaborations far outweigh their costs of time and effort.

“They will reach audiences that research literature never will. As such, they are a tremendous asset in a time when the increased politicization of complex scientific issues, such as the future of food and nutrition security, necessitates the communication of science to society in ways that are accessible and engaging.”

 

You can read the article here.


 “Food delivery apps deliver, but at what cost?” 

Panelists in a recent session of the Produce Marketing Association addressed the pros and cons of restaurant food delivery apps such as Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates. We have added a news report about it from a July 22 issue of The Packer.

 

You can read the article here.


Communicator events approaching

Uncertainties of the COVID-19 health issue continue to prompt flexible event planning. Here are plans of which we are aware, with contact information you can use for details.

April 12-15, 2021

“Mediterranean Agriculture, Food and Environment.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Information: https://aiaee2021.wordpress.com/

May 20-22, 2021

“Back in the Saddle” American Horse Publications Equine Media Conference for members, in Irving, Texas. AHP celebrating 50 years.

Information: https://www.americanhorsepubs.org/ahp-annual-conference/

June 21-23, 2021

“Elevating Voices.” Virtual conference of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE)

Information: https://aceweb.org/Conference


A global moral insight for small-town living

We close this issue of ACDC News with an observation from Will Rogers:

“All people smile in the same language.”


Best regards and wishes for your year ahead

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News – Issue 21-01

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Hearty welcome to Owen Roberts

On December 1, Dr. Owen Roberts became a faculty member in the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC) Program at the University of Illinois. He will be working with colleagues in advancing the agricultural communications curriculum (undergraduate and graduate), teaching courses, and helping students and professionals communicate effectively and grow in their careers.

Owen brings to this effort his experience as president of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) and 30-plus years of honored communications and journalism experience at the University of Guelph. Located near Toronto in Ontario, it is Canada’s leading agricultural university. His professional connections range broadly from the Association of Communication Excellence (ACE) and AAEA –The Ag Communicators Network in the U. S. to agricultural journalist organizations throughout the world. As well, he strengthens the worldwide mission of the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center.  His University of Illinois e-mail address is oroberts@illinois.edu.

“We in ALEC are tremendously excited to have Dr. Roberts join our team,” reports Director David Rosch.  “Our Illinois students will be well served by the breadth of his professional experiences and perspectives in agricultural communications.”


COVID-19 has “brought the restaurant to your home. And that’s here to stay.”

This message greeted participants in “Foodservice: delivered,” a recent virtual conference of the Produce Marketing Association. The four panelists emphasized that once the foodservice industry re-emerges from the coronavirus shutdowns, it will be changed forever. They offered examples and advice about how the industry can make sure the change is for the better.

“Think of ways to serve,” an executive chef urged, for example. “When we think about what it means to be in hospitality, it means to serve. This is a call to action.”

 

You can read the 2020 news article in The Packer by open access here. We are actively adding documents about the communications aspects of COVID-19, globally.


Mutual influence – best for communicating about nature

In communicating with others, our influence on them affects how much we are influenced by them. A research team from Germany and the United Kingdom  reported evidence of this tendency in a recent issue of Nature Communications.

Using an experimental perceptual task, they found that participants took more advice from the partner who took more advice from them. “…we showed that reciprocity is both a dynamic process and is abolished when people believed they interacted with a computer. Reciprocal social influence is a signaling medium for human-to-human communication that goes beyond aggregation of evidence for decision improvement.”

 

You can read this journal article by open access here.


What every ag and food communicator should know

Lyle E. Orwig summed up four decades of learning last month as he retired from Charleston|Orwig (now C.O.nxt), a communication agency he founded, Hartland, Wisconsin.  His career adventures took him from what associates described as “the farm fields of Illinois to the most influential circles within food and agriculture.”

 

You can read 12 top takeaways from Lyle’s distinguished career here.


How behavioral sciences can promote health, safety and self-governance in today’s risky online ecosystem

Major web platforms “have deep knowledge of users’ behavior, whereas users know little about how their data is collected, how it is exploited for commercial or political purposes, or how it and the data of others are used to shape their online experience.” A four-nation research team offered that perspective in a 2020 article in Nature Human Behavior.  They identified untapped technological cues and competencies needed to help promote truth, autonomy, and democratic discourse.

 

You can read the article by open access here.


Communicator events approaching

Uncertainties of the COVID-19 health issue continue to prompt flexible event planning. Here are plans of which we are aware, with contact information you can use for details.

January 22, 2021

Deadline for research papers for presentation at the 2021 ACE Conference (held virtually) June 21-22. Contact: Research Director Garrett Steede at gsteede@umn.edu

February 2-3, 2021 (online/virtual symposium rescheduled from on-site)

National Agricultural Communications Symposium (NACS) will feature (1) research or professional papers and (2) research and innovative ideas posters.

Information about papers: Dr. Shuyant Qu at squ@iastate.edu  Information about posters: Annie Specht at specht.21@osu.edu

February 12, 2021

a)Deadline for research proposals to the Research and Academic Programs Learning Community for presentation at the 2021 ACE Conference (held virtually) June 21-22. Contact: Vice Chair Laura Fischer at laura.fischer@ttu.edu

b)Deadline for posters. Contact: Secretary Shannon Norris at norriss@nmsu.edu

c)Deadline for theses and dissertations. Contact: Vice Chair Laura Fischer at laura.fischer@ttu.edu

April 12-15, 2021

“Mediterranean Agriculture, Food and Environment.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Information: https://aiaee2021.wordpress.com/


Sixteen hints on how to be your own weather prophet

We close this issue of ACDC News with some weather wisdom from a century ago. The “Reflections Farm and Food History” website of Farms.com features 16 hints published in a 1919 issue of The Farmer’s Advocate.  They were attributed to the New York Sun. Here are a couple samples:

  • “A foggy morning is usually the forerunner of a clear afternoon.”
  • “A ring around the moon means a storm is coming soon.”

 

You can read the 14 others here.


Best regards and wishes for your year ahead

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

ACDC News Issue – 20-12

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Part of the next food revolution

A 2019 journal article, “Edible urbanism 5.0,” advanced a “novel concept that considers trade-offs between ecosystem services and disservices.” Authors Alessio Russo and Guiseppe T. Cirella observed that two decades of promoting urban agriculture and food systems have devoted little attention to ecosystem disservices.

“Edible urbanism integrates three main principles of sustainability by fulfilling food security, resilience, and social inclusion,” they said. It links site-specific, best practices by integrating a green infrastructure approach with modernized food production techniques. Authors introduced international examples of “edible cities” and offered recommendations for future edible urbanism as part of the next food revolution.

You can read this open-access article here.


Survey shows COVID-19 is changing how Americans shop, eat, and think about food

 The 2020 Food and Health Survey by the International Food Information Council revealed that 85% of Americans have made at least some change in the foods they eat or how they prepare it because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those who have made any change, the biggest – far and away – is that 60% of Americans reported cooking at home more. Respondents also said they were snacking more (32%), washing fresh produce more often (30%) and thinking about food more than usual (27%).

You can review a summary of findings here.


What Czech food producers experienced using regional food labels: Mixed results

This 2019 journal article involved promotion of local foods. It featured results of a telephone survey among 208 producers who used the Czech “Regional Food” quality label. Reported findings:

  • Producers saw a positive improvement of sales following acquisition of the label.
  • They did not notice greater interest in their products during campaigns to support awareness of the Regional Food label.

Findings prompted a recommendation that it is worthwhile to keep the regional food label but improve its visibility by better marketing support.  Examples included more visible and frequent local events and more assistance in securing new distribution channels, such as government institutions, schools, and hospitals.

You can read the article here.


Communicators as canaries in the mine

We recently added to the ACDC collection a journal article emphasizing the key role of communicators within organizations. The article addressed “increasing numbers of organizations …run as fast food restaurants, focusing on: efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control of people.” Researcher Piet Verhoeven noted the positive results of this approach to management, as well as negative effects “that need to be addressed by organizations and societies.”

“Stakeholders who disagree with the opinions and ideas of the organization come knocking on the door and generally that will be the door of the CorpCom (corporate communication) professional.  … All types of tension throughout the organization, for example, those regarding environmental, health, and other societal issues, seem to converge on the CorpCom department.”

The abstract with terms and conditions for full-text access to “Corporate communication or McCommunication?” is available here. Or confer with us at acdc@library.illinois.edu


“Most Americans are wary of industry-funded research”

That is the title of a 2019 research report we added recently to the ACDC collection. It reflected results of a national survey among American adults.  In this study, 58 percent said they would be less apt to trust scientific research findings when the research was funded by an interest group.

“Public skepticism about industry funding is consistent with past Pew Research Center findings. For example, a 2016 survey found Americans trusted scientists more than food industry leaders to provide full and accurate information about the health effects of eating genetically-modified foods.”

You can read the research report here.


Communicator events approaching

Uncertainties of the COVID-19 health issue continue to prompt flexible event planning. Here are plans of which we are aware, with website addresses you can use to track updates.

February 2-3, 2021  (online/virtual symposium rescheduled from on-site)
National Agricultural Communications Symposium (NACS) will feature presentation of research and professional papers, posters, business meeting, and other sharing of information by faculty and professionals.

 

April 12-15, 2021

“Mediterranean Agriculture, Food and Environment.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Information: https://aiaee2021.wordpress.com/


Trying to dodge infection

We close this issue of ACDC News with a saying from the Australian Bush. Maybe it can help us deal with the threat of infection during this global pandemic:

“If you’re not always grateful for what you get, be thankful for what you escape!”


Best regards and wishes during this challenging time

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

 

 

ACDC News – Issue 20-11

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Extreme floods. Short memories.

“How long do floods throughout the millennium remain in the collective memory?” A team of environmental researchers at Czech University of Life Sciences asked that question as title of their 2019 article in Nature Communications. They tested data on 1,293 settlements founded across nine centuries (1118-1845) in the Vltava river basin in central Europe, enduring seven extreme (100-year or more) floods.

“We conclude that flood memory depends on living witnesses, and fades away already within two generations. Historical memory is not sufficient to protect human settlements from the consequences of rare catastrophic floods.” Authors offered suggestions for keeping memories alive – and history from repeating itself.

Do you wonder if a deep “eroding memory” tendency may apply to human experiences beyond devastating floods? You can read this article by open access here.


Where UK consumers place trust for information about novel foods produced by nanotechnologies

We recently added to the ACDC collection a 2018 Food Policy article about this topic. Researchers investigated levels of trust that United Kingdom consumers placed in 16 institutions as sources of information involving use of nanotechnologies in food production and packaging. Findings identified three different consumer groups and provided insights into the development of best practices and policies in risk communication and management.

You can read the article by open access here.


Online tools that reporters use to track wildfires before things get really hot

Joseph A. Jones recently identified a variety of tools and sources North American journalists use to “stay ahead of the smoke and fire.” His tips to members of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) included databases, websites, situation reports, fire statistics, incident display maps, state forester and tribal contacts, and other sources.

You can read the August 12, 2020, SEJ online article here.


A new perspective on agricultural (including food) communications

For decades, we agricultural journalists and communicators have fielded questions about whether we talk to plants and animals. Of course, we do. And now we can add an assurance that our guts communicate with our brains. How else do we (and others) get “that feeling in our guts?”

We bring this up because of a 2020 article published in Automatic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical. It reflects the recent work of University of Illinois researchers. They explained their findings as a kind of cross-talk between the entire brain and our small intestines (in particular) through neuronal connections.

“It’s not a surprise that the brain responds to signals in the gut, initiating motor functions involved with digestion,” a co-author noted. Looking ahead, he observed: “…we may finally begin to understand how hunger makes us ‘hangry,’ or how a stressful day becomes an irritable bowel.”

Read a research summary, “Gut communicates with the entire brain,” here.


Information issues in the wake of “Ag-Gag” legislation

A recent addition to the ACDC collection is entitled “Behind a veil of secrecy: animal abuse, factory farms, and Ag-Gag legislation.” It was published during 2016 in the Contemporary Justice Review. Authors Pamela Fiber-Ostrow and Jarret S. Lovell addressed “the abundance and increasing laws expanding the rights of agricultural interests over the rights and duties of American citizens and the animals with whom they coexist.”

You can read the abstract here with full-text PDF available for purchase from the publisher. Or confer with us at acdc@library.illinois.edu


Communicator events approaching

Uncertainties of the COVID-19 health issue continue to prompt flexible event planning. Here are plans of which we are aware, with website addresses you can use to track updates.

February 7-8, 2021 (online/virtual symposium rescheduled from on-site)

National Agricultural Communications Symposium (NACS) will feature (1) research or professional papers and (2) research and innovative ideas posters.

Information about papers: Dr. Shuyant Qu at squ@iastate.edu. Information about posters: Dr. Annie Specht at specht.21@osu.edu.

April 12-15, 2021

“Mediterranean Agriculture, Food and Environment.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Information: https://aiaee2021.wordpress.com/


 Is it talent, luck, business skill, or ….?

We close this issue of ACDC News with a recent thought from Alex DiNovo, president of the DNO Produce group of companies, Columbus, Ohio. He was writing in The Packer about success in the roller-coaster fresh produce business.

“As far as I can tell, individual skill in this business is not as much about innate talent or God-given brilliance as much as it is persistently applied hard work and the lessons learned from failure in those endeavors.


Best regards and wishes during this challenging time

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu

 

 

 

ACDC News – Issue 20-10

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“Artificial intelligence and the future of humans”

As use of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to spread, will people be better off than they are today? To address that question, the Pew Research Center recently used a survey among 979 technology pioneers, innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers, and activists. Responses suggested that most of those experts, whether optimistic or not, expressed concerns about the long-term impact of AI on the essential elements of being human.

You can review their concerns and suggested solutions in the research report here. They involve and speak to the future of all who are engaged in human interactions related to agriculture.


Impact of socially-engaged theater across communities

That is the title of an article addressing the question of how diverse audiences from rural and metropolitan areas respond to powerful yet provocative material through engaged theatre. It was published in the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. Researcher Harrison Long analyzed the impact of a theatre performance which adapted Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as interpreted by ex-slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. An ensemble from Kennesaw State University presented it in seven communities, including rural mountain towns.

Long observed in closing: “Socially engaged theatre creates a unique forum for constructive dialogue across communities between students and teachers, between performers and audiences. Wherever we went, “Splittin’ the Raft” prompted productive discussions about race, gender, economic equity, theatre, literature, music, and the social circumstances that inspire socially-engaged works.”

You can read the journal article here.


Whither the love of hunting?

We recently added a 2012 journal article of that title to the ACDC collection. Researchers Kristopher Robison and Daniel Ridenour analyzed several years of survey data on hunting and changes in hunting license acquisitions at the state level. They used the data to test a videophilia hypothesis. Findings indicated that a switch to certain kinds of electronic entertainment and the growth in urban living explained the decline in hunting.

“Unfortunately, revenue declines, animal over-population and an overall disinterest in conservation are probable outcomes of this major shift in recreational pursuits.”

You can read the Human Dimensions of Wildlife article here.


Remembering a special AG Comm leader and ACDC contributor

We honor Dr. K. Robert Kern, a respected agricultural communications leader, at word of his passing early last month. A 31-year member of the Iowa State University faculty, he chaired the ISU Extension Information Service for 17 years, was a professor of journalism and mass communication, and served as president of the American Association of Agricultural College Editors.
Farm-raised in Illinois, he earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois and is recognized as the first agricultural communications graduate here. He put together this combination of interests during the 1940s, before a degree program existed.
Following retirement, he kindly contributed his professional papers to ACDC. Extending from 1950 to 2018, they feature handbooks, workbooks, journal articles, research reports, speeches, commentaries, history manuscripts, correspondence, and other materials of value for future research. In addition, podcasts about his career and international activities in more than 40 countries are part of the “Living Histories” here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Legacy.com


Pakistani farmers’ use of mobile phones for accessing agricultural information

In this 2019 research report, more than 91 percent of sampled farmers in the Punjab province of Pakistan owned mobile phones. Market information ranked highest among farm-related uses. Major constraints on use included limited aptitude for using mobile phones and lack of awareness of information sources.

You can read the article in Ciência Rural here.


Communicator events approaching

Uncertainties of the COVID-19 health issue continue to prompt flexible event planning. Here are plans of which we are aware, with website addresses you can use to track updates.

September 14 through October 20, 2020
“British Library Food Season 2020.” Online program featuring the culture, history, sustainability, literature, and future of food. Many of the programs during this period are free. Source: Guild of Food Writers, based in the United Kingdom.
Information: https://bl.uk/events/food-season

November 16-17, 2020 (virtual conference rescheduled from on-site)
“Virtual Summit.” Ag Media Summit 2020 is a gathering of agricultural media and communications professionals. It is hosted by AAEA – The Ag Communicators Network, Livestock Publications Council (LPC), and Connectiv Ag Media Council. Information: https://agmediasummit.com/

November 18-20, 2020 (virtual convention rescheduled from on-site)
“Farm broadcasting – A trusted friend to agriculture.” Annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB).
Information: https://nafb.com/events/nafb-convention

February 7-8, 2021 (online/virtual symposium rescheduled from on-site)
National Agricultural Communications Symposium (NACS) will feature (1) research or professional papers and (2) research and innovative ideas posters.
Information about papers: Dr. Shuyant Qu at squ@iastate.edu. Information about posters: Dr. Annie Specht at specht.21@osu.edu.

April 12-15, 2021
“Mediterranean Agriculture, Food and Environment.” Annual conference of the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE) in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Information: https://aiaee2021.wordpress.com/


On speaking skills

We close this issue of ACDC News with honored writer-farmer Wendell Berry’s perspective about the relationship between telling and knowing. It came to our attention in the “Cornerstones” section of Progressive Farmer magazine:

“The ability to speak exactly is intimately related to the ability to know exactly.”


Best regards and wishes during this challenging time

ACDC is a resource for you, so please feel free to invite our help as you search for information. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @ACDCUIUC. And please suggest (or send) agricultural communications documents we might add to this unique and valuable international collection. We welcome them in hard copy (sent to Ag Comm Documentation Center, Room 510, 1101 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801) – or in electronic format sent to acdc@library.illinois.edu