Mass Media and Political Communication

Biased? Sure. Lying, no.

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University Accusations that the news media are biased are now so common as to become cliché.  Undoubtedly, the media are biased.  In fact, bias is inevitable in human decision making.  Unfortunately, one of the greatest political…


Is the Preference for Chaos a Rational Decision?

by Michael A. Smith, Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University  The study of “fake news” and other rumors spread via social media are gaining steam.  Recent work by political scientists fundamentally challenges the conventional wisdom about the fake news phenomenon and the…


Blue Wave, Red Wave; What Wave? No Wave

By Chapman Rackaway of the University of West Georgia Political scientists and pundits alike face a contradictory challenge in the concept of the “wave” election. Journalists use the term commonly, and 2018 is no exception. The hashtag #bluewave is a constant presence on political Twitter feeds,…


Save the Swamp

By Michael A. Smith of Emporia State University The Trump Administration’s recent reversal on immigration policy regarding children has gotten me to thinking. What exactly does it mean to “drain the swamp?” First, let me share a bit of background about the current situation. In 1997, a court ruling…


(The Lack of) Diversity in Trump's America

By Adaobi Duru, University of Louisiana at Monroe The lack of diversity in Trump's cabinet appointment is significant and might be a reflection of the President's position on issues regarding racial and gender equality in government. The President's cabinet is made up of 18 men and four women. In…


Ruling by Distraction

To rule by distraction is a time-tested tool of autocratic and authoritarian regimes. It is a go-to move for non-democratic regimes when faced with a challenge, domestic or international. As the name suggests, this approach is simple but effective. The idea is to create enough chaos and…


Election 2016 Lesson for the Media: New Journalistic Norms Needed to Cover Elections

The 2016 U.S. presidential election will stand out in the nation’s collective memory as a highly unusual event for many reasons. It featured two unique candidates, an election campaign that completely overturned the norms set by previous elections, a neglected voter base that showed an…


Mass Administrative Reorganization, Media Attention, and the Paradox of Information

The following is part of a series of posts written by 2016 MPSA award recipients highlighting outstanding research presented at previous MPSA annual conferences. Our article – Mass Administrative Reorganization, Media Attention, and the Paradox of Information (Now PAR 2015) – is one of a series of…