Agricultural Journalism

The quality of agricultural journalism in Australia is fairly ordinary, and this can largely be attributed to our relatively small population.  Unfortunately there simply isn’t a large enough number of people directly involved in agriculture, to make it a lucrative enough field for the big media players to be fighting over readership (unlike the U.S., which by contrast, even has a dedicated rural television channel). 

The best way to ensure that good quality media stories are produced about rural and regional areas is to ensure there are plenty of journalists and photographers with a rural or regional background, and those with a passionate interest in the bush.

There are state, national and international rural journalism associations. All hold regular events well worth attending, and all are run by very inspiring, passionate people who care very much about the future of agriculture worldwide.

Why have special agricultural journalism associations? Food production is a complex topic, but underestimated and little understood by those who have had no contact with the field.

But the significance of it can be simply explained. After air and water, food is the essential we would all die without – within days. When you stop and think about this, the importance of other fields such as politics, sharemarkets, the general business world, mining, science, the arts, general welfare – even education and health – pale into insignificance. A healthy agricultural sector, worldwide, is of critical importance to us all. Flash hospitals and doctors are no use if people are dying because they don’t have enough to eat!

It has been predicted that the next world war will be over the availability of water. If it’s not water, it may well be over food. All the genuinely important issues in the world are directly associated with agriculture – from global warming to overpopulation issues, land degradation, water pollution, plant and animal diseases, animal and plant extinctions, plant variety rights, genetically modified crops and cloning.