John Sides

Academic Conferences Are “Lumbering Dinosaurs.” Can Anything Change Them?

The conventional political science conference is a dinosaur, large, lumbering, and increasingly ill-suited for its environment, although extinction does not appear imminent. So begins a recent article by Georgetown political scientist Mark Rom.  On the eve of the next American Political Science Association meeting, his take is well worth digesting. For starters, consider this.  In… Read more »

Can Public Broadcasting Make Us Smarter Citizens?

There are no end of lamentations about what voters do—and often do not—know about politics and current events.    Could the solution be waiting in the welcoming arms of Big Bird?  Could watching public broadcasting, which tends to feature more substantive “hard” news than does commercial broadcasting, make people more knowledgeable about politics? In a… Read more »

Why Chris Christie Didn’t Run in 2012

In the Los Angeles Times, Washington bureau chief David Lauter reviews Lynn Vavreck’s and my book on the election, The Gamble (coming soon!), and Dan Balz’s just-released Collision 2012.  Part of what has gotten attention in Balz’s book is his revelations about attempts to recruit Chris Christie to run.  Here’s how Lauter sets this up… Read more »

There Really Is Partisan Bias in Media Coverage of Scandals

We study the coverage of U.S. political scandals by U.S. newspapers during the past decade. Using automatic keyword-based searches we collected data on 32 scandals and approximately 200 newspapers. We find that Democratic-leaning newspapers—i.e., those with a higher propensity to endorse Democratic candidates in elections—provide relatively more coverage of scandals involving Republican politicians than scandals… Read more »

One Irony of Nate Silver’s Leaving the New York Times

Nate Silver’s imminent departure from the New York Times to ABC and ESPN —see details in the links within this Jack Shafer post—has elicited stories of hostility to Silver within the Times newsroom.  The Times public editor, Margaret Sullivan, writes: His entire probability-based way of looking at politics ran against the kind of political journalism… Read more »