Misinterpretations in conventional media

31-08-2011 | | |
ter Beek
Vincent ter Beek Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world

In early September I am speaking about the role of the media with regard to Precision Livestock Farming in the future. I’ve been asked not to reveal anything about my presentation so I will not do that in this weblog.

Well, only a little fragment as a teaser then. I’m using one particular illustration that appeared with an article on pig production in a Dutch left-wing newspaper De Volkskrant in April – I wrote an editorial about it earlier this year. It was taken in a brand new large sow house in the south of the Netherlands, equipped with free access stalls. Initially I particularly liked the moment of photographing – during feeding, as all sows are happily munching away on the pic.

The photograph aroused comments in the newspaper – people seeming to think the pigs had no place to move. They didn’t know any better, I supposed at that time.

Still, I liked the article as the newspaper had tried to listen and present the pork producer’s story. A refreshing approach after always writing about what activist groups do, feel and think!

I phoned the producer this week just to find out how things had happened. He said he had been approached by the regional agricultural organisation (ZLTO) as no pork producer had initially been found willing to show the journalist what he was looking for.

He also told that he had been receiving disapproving, unpleasant mail at his address as a consequence. I was a bit shocked to hear this – as he was only doing what ought to be done more – get the message out what pork producers are doing!

Just hope the newspaper did not publish this photograph on purpose to mislead readers as to what is happening in pig houses – as I’m sure some while before, the sows must have been walking round…

Do you know any (deliberate) misinterpretations in the media about pork production? I’m curious.