Category Archives: PSCI

Farnsworth Publishes Book on Presidential Communication

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, is author of a new book, Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump, published by Routledge Press.

From the Publisher: This book traces the evolution of White House news management during America’s changing media environment over the past two decades. Comparing and contrasting the communication strategies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, it demonstrates the difficulty that all presidents have in controlling their messages despite a seemingly endless array of new media outlets and the great advantages of the office. That difficulty is compounded by new media’s amplification of presidential character traits for good or ill. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube notwithstanding, presidential power still resides in the “power to persuade,” and that task remains a steep challenge.

The book also looks at the media strategies of candidates during the 2016 presidential campaign and covers the early phase of the Trump administration, the first true Twitter presidency.

More information

C-Span interview on "Presidential Communication and Character"

UMW To Host 1st Congressional District Debate: 7:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 6

Virginia Flag

The University of Mary Washington will host the 1st Congressional District Debate on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium.

The debate will present Republican Rep. Rob Wittman, who has held the seat since 2007, Democratic challenger Norm Mosher and Independent Green Party Candidate Gail Parker. The 1st District includes more than 15 counties and includes parts of Stafford, Spotsylvania, and the city of Fredericksburg. The event is free and open to the public.

Wittman, a resident of Montross, co-chairs the House Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus and serves on the House Natural Resources Committee. Prior to his election to Congress, he served in the House of Delegates for the Northern Neck.

A former captain of the U.S. Navy, Mosher is a resident of Irvington. He served on the Irvington Town Council and as chair of the Lancaster County Democratic Committee.

Gail Parker is a retired US Air Force Reserve officer who was also a candidate for Virginia's First District in 2010 and 2012.

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, will moderate the program. Panelists will be Chelyen Davis, assistant editorial page editor at The Free Lance-Star, and Ted Schubel, news director for B101.5 and WFVA’s News Talk 1230.

The debate is co-sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Chamber of Commerce; The Free Lance-Star; UMW’s Young Democrats; UMW’s College Republicans; The Blue and Gray Press; and the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies.

For more information about the debate, contact Stephen Farnsworth at

Book Chapter: Mass Media and Policymaking

Routledge Public Policy

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, is co-author of a book chapter, “Mass Media and Policymaking,” published in the Routledge Handbook of Public Policy. The chapter grew out of a research project that originated during Farnsworth’s time as a Canada-US Fulbright Scholar at McGill University in Montreal.

International Media Appearances: Election 2012

ABC Australia

An interview with Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth appeared in a MacNeil/Lehrer Production documentary about American political advertising and the presidential election.

The documentary, “Making Democracy,” has aired during the past week in more than 20 countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Farnsworth also was a featured guest for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s election night coverage.

Times of London: Virginia Politics

times of londonStephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, discusses the importance of voter registrations to the presidential election in “Obama Steps Up App War to Woo Wavering Voters.” The article appears in the Wednesday, Oct. 10 issue of The Times of London.

Farnsworth also was a featured guest on National Public Radio during the segment “Virginia Senate Candidates Square Off in Debate” on Tuesday, Oct. 9.