This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Alabama & Georgia Media Sources and Their Claims About Alternative Food Networks




Stitt, Amanda

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which the media shapes information about Alternative Food Networks (AFN). This study is embedded in a larger project investigating local beef food safety in the Southeast U.S. and the media’s presentation of local beef. Focusing on local and organic beef in Alabama and Georgia, data were gathered via Access World News using AFN keywords and included 201 newspaper articles published between 2007 and 2018. Data were coded for topic, tone, location, and publisher. Findings indicate that 82% of these articles were published in metro areas and only one was published in a noncore area. The lack of rural coverage may explain why rural grocery store consumers are less familiar with the term “local” (Telligman, Worosz, and Bratcher 2017) and why rural consumers claim that no one influences their local beef purchases (Richardson and Worosz 2017). Lack of news in noncore areas may be explained by consolidation of local newspapers.