My research focuses on journalism's role in democratic societies during times of political and cultural change. My first book -- Newspaper Wars: Civil Rights and White Resistance in South Carolina, 1935-1965 (University of Illinois Press, 2017) -- argues that black and white newspapers exerted more influence on state and national politics in the mid-twentieth century than has been previously acknowledged. I am following up that research with a second book-length study focusing on journalists and their role as political actors. I am co-editor and contributor to a collection of research essays called Journalism and Jim Crow: The Making of White Supremacy in the New South (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming, Fall 2021). The edited collection documents for the first time the substantive role of the white press in actively building, nurturing, and protecting white supremacist political economies across the Southern states from the 1870s to 1920. At the same time, our research shows how a vigorous Black press, led by Ida B. Wells, T. Thomas Fortune, Alexander Manly, J. Max Barber, W. Calvin Chase and many others, fought ferociously against these anti-Black actors, events, and ideologies. My interest in political journalism grew out of personal experience. I spent more than two decades as a professional journalist covering political contests in the United States and abroad. During that time, I came to realize that journalists and their publics increasingly disagreed about the role journalism has played – and should play – in civic life. As a historian and a media researcher, I hope to engage in the scholarly conversation about an issue that is central to a democratic society.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Ph.D: Mass Communication, University of South Carolina, , 2014 -
  • M.A.: Mass Communication, University of South Carolina, , 2010 -
  • B.A.: English Literature, Florida State University, , 1983 -

Specialties

  • Political Communication and Journalism History