There has been a considerable amount of talk lately about media and agriculture. I started doing some digging and I have to say, I am not remotely satisfied with any of the results.
Since one of the bigger media corportations is NBC, I went onto their website and did a search for just the information listed with agriculture. Here is the top result:
The caption next to the photo reads: “Jones moved his Temple to San Francisco in 1975 to invigorate his political career. Media scrutiny prompted the move to his “Agricultural Project” in Guyana, aka Jonestown.” The photo title and heading reads like this:
When charismatic maniacs lead their flock afoul of the law...
From my understanding, this was the basis of a Law and Order, LA show. The only other listing is for Bobble heads for the show the Office.
NO JOKE FOLKS. These are the only listing on NBC for agriculture. Don’t believe me, check for yourself. I even decided to do a check for the key word farming. The hot stories are all skits from Comedy Shows like the Office and Saturday Night Live. Not one of them directly related to farming or agriculture.
So, I head off to the CBS website. I did find some videos that cover Agriculture. Cute short little clips about how Meat prices are expected to rise 8%, an interview or two with Tom Vilsak on food security, black farmer discrimination and you got it animal abuse at a slaughterhouse. There were a few videos up about the Texans dealing with the drought too.
An overall rating, I would say that CBS does a better job than NBC hands down on sharing some of the Ag-world news but it’s all a tactical message at throwing farmers and ranchers under the bus. Concern over prices, food safety, descrimination and yes, even the hot topic of child labor. Some of the videos are worth taking the time to just hear the opinions and concerns of these reporters on.
Fox News wasn’t great either but they had at least been hitting some hot topics that should be covered. There were topics covered like the farmers affected by the flood waters in 2011, the anti-cheese billboards in NY, prices of food and also how families can save money in the grocery store as food prices rise. They even covered topics like crops for energy.
Based on these review of each of the three biggest channels for news, the only one that I think covers topics that matter from the agriculture standpoint to the general consumer is Fox. Like I stated above, if you don’t believe me, check the sites for yourself.
Not one of them really covers the real world of farm or ranch production. I couldn’t find a single article or video that showed a farm to plate image. I think this all leads to why we have such a disconnect between Agriculture and the consumer.
Maybe we could get a couple of these big time reporters to pay attention to something good we have going. I dream of the day when I can turn on any tv news channel and watch something about my fellow friends who work the land in various parts of the country. Guess this is a goal for the future for me!