McCourtney Institute of Democracy hosts talk on media and party polarization

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The McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State is launching a speaker series, “Media and Deliberation.” The first speaker is Thomas E. Patterson, the Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press in the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.

He will speak on "Feeding the Fire: The Media's Role in Party Polarization" at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9, in the Foster Auditorium (102 Paterno Library) on the University Park campus. This event is free and open to the public.

Patterson is the author of "The Vanishing Voter: Public Involvement in an Age of Uncertainty, the award-winning "Out of Order," and, most recently, "Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism."

In addition to his public lecture, Patterson will give a roundtable talk on "The State of Political Communication Research" at 11:30 a.m. in 124 Sparks. The McCourtney Roundtable talks are organized primarily for interested faculty and graduate students. 

Based in Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts, The McCourtney Institute for Democracy promotes rigorous scholarship and practical innovations to advance the democratic process in the United States and abroad. The Institute examines the interplay of deliberative, electoral, and institutional dynamics. It recognizes that effective deliberation among citizens has the potential to reshape both the character of public opinion and the dynamics of electoral politics, particularly in states and local communities. Likewise, political agendas and institutional processes can shape the ways people frame and discuss issues.

The Institute pursues this mission, in part, through supporting the work of the Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD) and the Center for American Political Responsiveness (CAPR). 

The next speakers are Charlie Savage of the New York Times, on “Watch The Throne: The promises and Perils of Covering Presidential Power,” on Sept. 23 and Suzanne Mettler of Cornell University on “School’s Out: Polarization, Higher Education, and the Demise of the American Dream,” on Nov. 6.

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