I am broadly interested in political communication questions, particularly the relationship between elites, news and social media, and the general public. In my researched, I have looked at both domestic cases (e.g., 2016 U.S. elections, U.S. mass shootings) and international cases (e.g., Sino-American relations, Qatar Diplomatic Crisis).
I am also interested in how computational tools can be used to analyze the linguistics of mass communication. I believe this is one of the best ways to handle the massive amount of mass communicated data produced daily by millions of journalists, public figures, and everyday citizens. My work here focuses on syntax as an organizing feature in language, particularly when we communicate "on our soapbox" to others. I also use text-as-data strategies to highlight key concepts and extract sentiment from large corpora.
Computer-Assisted Content Analysis / Text-As-Data
My main method is computer-assisted content analyses, from a corpus linguistics perspective. This involves creating and validating codebooks for both human and computational coding, verifying inter-coder reliability, and operationalizing manifest and latent content for statistical analysis. I strongly believe language-analysis work needs to be mixed methods, with both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Content analysis bridges these two areas of scholarship together by making it possible to quantify qualitative observation and by highlighting interesting quantitative results that could use further qualitative assessment.
Grammar is the toolbox of language, shaping words to form messages that we share with one another. In mass communication, that grammar is special because it can be used as a way to communicate with broader and more narrow audiences. Natives of the Greater New York City area, for example, know that you're never "in" Long Island, but "on" Long Island. Such distinctions, though minor, shape the discourse of our civil society.
Within the area of international relations, much of my research sits in the subfield of public diplomacy, when countries interact with publics of other countries. In particular, I study cases of mediated public diplomacy and international broadcasting to understand how audiences interpret messages from foreign countries.
International News Reporting
I am broadly interested in U.S. reporting of "international" (i.e., not-U.S.) news stories. I believe such reporting significantly influences how American audiences perceive and understand the broader global system. I am particularly interested in news reporting of war and conflict, as well as general coverage of former colonies and the "Global South." Tangentially, I am also interested in the relationship between international news reporting and diplomatic/military state action between countries.