Farnsworth to Open Media Studies Center

In January, Stephen Farnsworth will return to UMW to open the Center for Leadership and Media Studies. He’ll also teach in the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, where he taught for 13 years before leaving in 2008.

A media and politics expert, Farnsworth plans to get the new center open quickly. Using research and political opinion surveys, the work of the center should help students better understand the role media plays in politics. Another goal of the venture is to create connections among undergraduates and alumni in government and political science careers.

Farnsworth is regularly quoted in major media outlets on political and communication topics. He has conducted research on elections, the mass media, the U.S. presidency, and public opinion. A veteran newspaper journalist, he is the author of Spinner in Chief: How Presidents Sell Their Policies and Themselves and Political Support in a Frustrated America. Farnsworth co-authored The Nightly News Nightmare: Television’s Coverage of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1988-2004 and The Mediated Presidency: Television News and Presidential Governance. His research has appeared in numerous scholarly journals.

This fall, Farnsworth served as the moderator for the Sept. 28 Fredericksburg Forum featuring Karl Rove, the Republican political strategist best known as President George W. Bush’s top adviser.

Since 2008, Farnsworth has been an associate professor of communications at George Mason University in Fairfax. He holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University, a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Missouri, and a bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College.