I don't come from a farming background. I wasn't brought up brushing ponies or feeding sheep but I do have some farm work experience. I was a milkmaid for a few months and I worked on a sheep farm in Australia for a bit. As I'm trying to report on issues in agriculture and rural affairs I've been looking at how they are already represented in the media. Listen to my radio feature to find out more.
The Farmers Guardian and Farmer's Weekly both do a good job reporting farming issues but they are only read by people in the farming community. Here in Cardiff there is a weekly supplement in the Western Mail on a Tuesday. How can this be representative? I'm sure the story is the same for other parts of the country. Local media treating countryside matters as something they have to add, just to tick a box. Other supplements cover job listings, celebrity gossip and housing rentals. I can't believe that Rural Affairs reporting gets put into the same category! I guess it's not all bad news. The BBC has made Countryfile their flagship Sunday night show by moving it into a prime time position. But maybe more could be done? I've recently encountered The Country Channel and of course there is Horse and Country TV which shows that there is a market and an audience for Agricultural News. I'll just keep plugging away and carry on letting people know my findings.