An examination of the international federation of agricultural journalists’ involvement in agriculture knowledge transfer
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It is estimated by the year 2050 the global population will reach nine billion. This growth in population presents a very imposing problem, “how will agriculturalists produce the needed food and fiber to feed and clothe the world?” A potential solution to increasing agricultural production is through agricultural innovation systems. An innovation system of particular interest is the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS). What has not been studied before is the role that the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) has in this system. This study sought to describe the IFAJ, its role within AKIS, describe issues facing the membership related to agricultural innovation systems, and record the practices members feel are best to identify stories of interest, create interesting media pieces, and subsequently disseminate those media pieces. The results of the study indicate the majority of respondents work as journalists/reporters, and a large portion of organizations employ less than five people. In respect to the AKIS model, understanding is above the mid-point, and journalistic and corporate communicators do not understand the system significantly different. Most (46.1%) respondents see themselves as being represented by an arrow in the AKIS model indicating that IFAJ members see themselves as facilitators of knowledge movement. Journalistic and corporate communicators do significantly differ in their perceived objectivity. Respondents felt that their audience trusted government sources of information least, and farmer-sourced information most. Talking to stakeholders was the most popular method of identifying stories of interest, involving the farm perspective was most popular for the creation of interesting media pieces, and the use of digital and traditional media was the most popular method to disseminate their work.
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