Changes in Agricultural Technology Raises Discussion of Media Coverage
COLUMBIA- Journalists and agriculture and science professionals gathered Thursday at Reynolds Journalism Institute on the MU campus. The school played host to the Food, Fuel and Society symposium. Attendees discussed technological improvements in farming and how journalists should cover these issues.
"People are interested in biotechnology, nanotechnology, things on a small scale that have a big effect on our lives," said agricultural reporter Kathleen Masterson.
Farm broadcast Pam Fretwell said many consumers don't know where there food comes from, but they're starting to care.
"Consumers are very disconnected anymore with the people that provide the food, the fuel, the fiber that they use everyday. Maybe in my generation, maybe my mother came from a farm. Today, a young person may not have any connection to a farm," said farm broadcaster Pam Fretwell.
Some professionals suggested the public has a stigma against scientific topics.
"There certainly is a public reaction that if you think it's science, you think it's kind of unrelated to your life. You might think 'Oh gee wiz, that's neat,' but people don't necessarily make a connection between science and our lives when pretty much everything around us is made with some kinds of science," said Masterson.
The symposium covered other topics including biofuel, farm labor and Food and Drug Administration regulation. The night ended with a reception and viewing of Edward R. Murrow's "Harvest of Shame."