PCRG Mini-Conference

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Cover Stories | 0 comments

Student members of the Political Communication Research Group (PCRG) had the opportunity to share and receive feedback on their work from a leading scholar in the field, and brainstorm on new ideas, methods and applications of their work at Political Communication Research Group 2014 Mini-Conference on Friday, November 14. Sponsored by the Don Owens Professorship, this mini-conference was the first Manship research forum organized by students.

Students shared their summer work from externships and conferences, courses and previous PCRG collaborative efforts. The mini-conference also featured a top visiting scholar whose work influenced PCRG.



Brendan Nyhan

Brendan Nyhan, assistant professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College, delivered a keynote speech on “Research and Misperceptions.” Nyhan, a contributor to The Upshot at The New York Times and former media critic for Columbia Journalism Review, also met with the group to discuss its works in progress.


“Both the faculty and the students in the Political Communication Research Group felt lucky to be able to bring Brendan Nyhan to campus,” said Rosanne Scholl, assistant professor. “He helped us think about how our research on what journalists can do to increase public understanding (and decrease misunderstanding) fits in with the big picture of policy and democracy, as well as with his own groundbreaking work on this topic. He was very generous with creative ideas and also advice about technical methods.”


In addition to the keynote address, the mini-conference also featured presentations by political communication faculty and students. Members of the group include undergraduate students Lindsey Spillman and Jacob Irving; doctoral students Newly Paul and Mingxiao Sui; and professors Ray Pingree, Rosanne Scholl, Johanna Dunaway, Martin Johnson and Katie Searles. Also presenting at the mini-conference were doctoral students Paige Brown Jarreau and Myounng-Gi Chon.

The Political Communication Research Group is a collaborative research group producing research on the role of news media in assisting an informed electorate to make good decisions as citizens of a democracy. It is one of five research groups within the Manship School designed to provide graduate and undergraduate students with the opportunity to gain experience in their specified field of study. The other research groups focus on elections, digital advertising, crisis communications and media effects/media psychology. Students learn hands-on research skills such as coding, website/project management, website design, database searches and analytical writing. By working with Manship faculty, students can make intellectual contributions to the media industries and society, but also gain skills that will help them on various career paths, as well as in professional and graduate schools.