Journalist members of the Guild are asked to help with a first-time research study being conducted with the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) in partnership with Texas Tech University’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communications.
It aims to explore the roles of IFAJ members in exchanging agricultural knowledge with producers, a process called ‘mobilizing’ knowledge.
“The study’s purpose is to assess the flows of knowledge in agricultural journalism and communications,” explain Owen Roberts (pictured), IFAJ vice-president, and Masaru Yamada of Japan’s agricultural journalist Guild. “It examines the role of agricultural journalists and communicators in mobilising knowledge and sharing it with farmers; the outcome will benefit the federation and all agricultural journalists and communicators.”
The research, which is being conducted through a global online survey, is designed to shed light on existing best practices that IFAJ members have used to share information with their audiences. The findings will help members learn from the successes of their global colleagues, and help better serve readers, listeners and viewers.
It should also help build a better understanding of the unique role that agricultural journalists and communicators play in rural development.
Exceptional care is being taken to protect the privacy of respondents, say the researchers. No names, ages or employers’ names will be asked during the questionnaire, and it has been approved by Texas Tech’s Human Research Protection Program to ensure that at no time will it risk personal information.
The questionnaire will take about 30 minutes to complete but does not have to be finished in one go. It asks about the type of media organisation that respondents work for, the style of their media products and the communication methods used (eg print, blogs etc). It also poses some ‘attitude and opinion’ questions and asks for examples of best practice in identifying and presenting stories.
“The study’s success depends on participation from members,” emphasise Owen Roberts and Masaru Yamada. “So we do hope British Guild members will make a contribution by taking part.”