How do individuals’ information ecologies influence their views on women’s reproductive rights, same sex marriage opinions, and democratic attitudes? This talk will focus on how the ways people use news sources, social media, and conversations with others are associated with their opinions and actions on a variety of important issues that are shaping the 2022 midterm elections. Using panel survey data gathered by the Center for Communication and Civic Renewal at UW-Madison from Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina over the past four years, attendees will come to learn how homogeneous and heterogeneous information diets affect what people know, what they want, and what they do.
- Understand the communication ecology in Wisconsin and similar “swing states”
- Relate people’s information diets to the opinions they have on critical public issues
- Learn strategies to tame social media’s (mis)information tide
About the Presenter
Michael W. Wagner, Ph.D., is Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, a Leon Epstein Faculty Fellow, and the Director of the Center for Communication and Civic Renewal at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research explores how the content and flow of information in overlapping communication ecologies influence political knowledge, public opinion, and political behavior in the United States.
His work appears in top journals such as Journal of Communication, Annual Review of Political Science, International Journal of Press/Politics, in his co-authored books, such as Battleground: Asymmetric Communication Ecologies and the Erosion of Civil Society in Wisconsin (Cambridge University Press) and Mediated Democracy: Politics, the News and Citizenship in the 21st Century (CQ Press), and in public-facing outlets such as the Washington Post, the Brookings Institution’s TechStream and Vox. Much of this work has been supported by $8.25 million in research grants from foundations—including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Tow Foundation, and from public entities such as the National Science Foundation, the Collaborative for Reproductive Equity, the Holtz Center, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
A winner of multiple teaching and public service awards, Wagner edits Political Communication’s Forum, is an Associate Editor at Public Opinion Quarterly, is a principal organizer of the Election Coverage and Democracy Network and is the Translation Hub Director of the Collaborative for Reproductive Equity at UW–Madison.
He tweets @prowag.