In the run up to the 2012 fall elections, UW–Madison professors Lewis Friedland and Michael Xenos discuss the role that social media plays in political organizing. A professor in the UW-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication and an affiliated professor in the Department of Sociology, Friedland founded and curently directs the Center for Communication and Democracy at UW-Madison. Michael Xenos is an associate professor of communication arts at UW-Madison who studies new media and civic engagement. Friedland and Xenos discuss the latest research at the intersection of politics and social media, exploring questions like: Does social media enable real dialogue among citizens with differing views, or merely create an echo chamber that reinforces previously-held opinions? Will social media augment or erode traditional media coverage of political campaigns and events? What role does social media play in person-to-person engagement in our 21st-century democracy?
Sponsored by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, this Academy Evening talk was recorded on September 24, 2012, at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art lecture hall in Overture Center for the Arts, Madison.