Monthly Archives: November 2013

Could the Worst-Educated Voters in History Kill Democracy?

Today’s political candidates campaign in a world in which news and information travels with unprecedented speed and arrives on smartphones that we carry in our pockets.

But modern technology has not produced a more informed and educated electorate. In fact, when New Jersey voters go to the polls on Nov. 5 to choose a candidate for governor, they may be less prepared to make that decision than they were four years ago.

Why?

For starters, the size of newsroom staffs at news outlets covering the state has decreased through buyouts, layoffs and other cutbacks. At the same time, the growth of the Internet has altered the manner in which news is gathered, reported and disseminated, placing new demands on depleted news staffs. Neither of these developments is unique to New Jersey, but our experience in the Garden State may provide a lesson for the rest of the nation. Because we are the most densely populated state in the country, public policy issues often emerge here first – and we are among the first to react and respond to them. Continue reading

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Who’s the most ‘Jersey Guy’ in Town?

With Chris Christie up for re-election on Tuesday, I’ll be updating my study on Who’s the Real Jersey Guy: Chris Christie or Bruce Springsteen?

My wife Anne Lee will join me in making the presentation on Thursday at the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) conference in Atlantic City.

A short description of our talk is on the MAPACA website, and a 2010 version of the study still is posted on the Hall Institute of Public Policy – New Jersey website.

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Panel Presentation at Communication Conference

I presented a paper at the New York State Communication Association conference in Ellenville, N.Y., on Oct. 19.

I was the Political Communication in a Networked World panel with my St. Bonaventure colleague Ben Gross, an assistant professor of sociology, Ben presented a paper titled What Makes Someone a Cyber Balkan? Finding the Linkages between Social Psychology and Self-Selectivity in U.S Politics Online, and I explored the question Are the Media Leaving Today’s Voters Less Informed?

More details are in this story in The Bona Venture, our campus newspaper.

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