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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Timothy E. Cook, Farleigh Dickinson, Jr., professor of political science at Williams College, will speak on "The News Media as a Political Institution: Decline and Fall?" on Wednesday, March 28, at 7 p.m. in Reed’s Vollum lounge. The lecture, sponsored by Reed’s political science department, is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755.

Cook will discuss how the media over the last 40 years have been increasingly operating like a "fourth branch of government," involved in policy decisions and governance in Washington and elsewhere. He will focus on whether the news media as a political institution will survive the fragmentation of the mass audience, the proliferation of many news outlets, and the erosion of public confidence. He questions whether these new developments spell the end to the news media's power in American political life.

Cook, whose work focuses on candidates, media, and elections, has held a number of prominent positions at institutions around the country. He has been an American Political Science Association congressional fellow, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, a visiting professor of political science at Yale University, and an adjunct and a visiting professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

His numerous publications include Making Laws and Making News: Media Strategies in the U.S. House of Representatives (Brookings Institution, 1989) and Governing with the News: The News Media as a Political Institution (University of Chicago Press, 1998). In 1992 Cook was part of a six-person team that studied the presidential campaign as it unfolded in four different sites around the country. The team published its findings in Crosstalk: Citizens, Candidates, and Media in a Presidential Campaign (University of Chicago Press, 1996).

Cook was elected to the executive council of the American Political Science Association in 1994 and serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Political Science, Political Communication, and the Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics.

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