Hands up anyone who’s been on a farm this year…
OK – last year ?
Not many eh? … Well hardly surprising when 80% of us live in towns.
So what do we think of farmers? Hard working guardians of the land.. or subsidy grabbing moaners?
And how do we form these opinions? Where do we get our information?
Highly respected rural affairs journalist (and farmer’s daughter) Anna Jones has been looking into this. And the relationship betwen farmers and journalists. And more important: how that colours our view of everything agriculture.
Who tells us about what farmers are up to? Oh yes, the UK’s largely urban-based media.
What if city-based hacks know and care less about the countryside and farming than the rest of us?
"…something is misfiring between the farming industry and the mainstream media in the UK. "They just don’t understand each other." © Anna Jones
Do journalists have an instinctive cynicism regarding big farming?
Do farmers have a deep rooted suspicion of reporters?
Answers: Yes, says Jones.
You can find her insightful report here:
"The ‘disconnect’ is real, more so in Western and urbanised societies.." © Anna Jones
Most of us in journalism know that Editors love “bad news” stories about everything – and farming’s no exception: horse meat in burgers, bird flu, “Frankenstein foods”.
And quite rightly we should be asking tough questions about these things.
But is there room for a better understanding? Take a look at Jones’ report and judge for yourself.
Spoiler alert: It’s not all gloom and doom. The good news is… Jones has a plan:
"Building a bridge between these very different worlds is the aim of this study." © Anna Jones
More on that plan another time. For now you can read her report here.