Posted in Campus News on Nov. 15, 2012 by Lauren Rubenstein
Matt Motta ’13 uses an online system to “code” political ads. Motta estimates that he has watched between 400 and 500 unique ad spots through his work on the Wesleyan Media Project.
In the first presidential election since the Citizens United case transformed the campaign finance landscape, the number of ads airing in the presidential race alone surpassed one million by late October.
Erika Franklin Fowler is co-director of The Wesleyan Media Project.
While 2012 saw a sharp increase in the number of outside interest group players in the election, and corresponding increases in the amount of spending from groups who do not have to disclose their donors, there remained one consistent source of transparency in advertising—the Wesleyan Media Project. A political ad tracking project headed by Assistant Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler and colleagues at Bowdoin College and Washington State University, the Wesleyan Media Project provided data and analysis for hundreds of news stories on the election.
“Federal reporting guidelines do not ensure that the public knows who is attempting to influence elections before they go to the ballot box,” Fowler says. “The Wesleyan Media Project’s goal is to provide publicly available information, in real-time, during elections to increase transparency and to better enable citizens to hold various interests accountable.”
The Wesleyan Media Project, established in 2010, is the successor to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, which tracked political ads between 1998 and 2008. The Wesleyan Media Project is supported this year by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, and Wesleyan University.
The Wesleyan Media Project purchases raw data on campaign advertising (more…)
Posted in Achievements on Oct. 22, 2012 by Lauren Rubenstein
Erika Franklin Fowler is co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project.
Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, will be a panelist at a roundtable discussion at Yale University on Monday, Oct. 29. The subject is China and the American Election. Fowler will be joined by James Fallows of The Atlantic, Stephen Roach of the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs and the Yale University School of Management, and Jeremy Wu of the Committee of 100, and former senior advisor to the U.S. Census Bureau. As China’s rapid development, and Sino-American relations continue to be featured in the media during the current U.S. election season, the panelists will offer their perspectives to help situate campaign appeals in the context of American attitudes toward China; Chinese perceptions of the United States; complex economic motivations; and larger campaign dynamics and electoral considerations.
The discussion will begin at 6 p.m. in Room 101 (Henry R. Luce Hall), 34 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven, Conn. It is free and open to the public. RSVP to email@example.com by Oct. 26.
Posted in Campus News on Mar. 26, 2012 by David Pesci
Erika Franklin Fowler is co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project.
Much like the primaries for both sides in 2008, this race looks to continue its jockeying right into June. But through it there is one resource that provides some clarity, at least when it comes to the money being spent on campaign ads: The Wesleyan Media Project.
Created in 2010, The Wesleyan Media Project is a nonpartisan, academically-based effort designed to television track advertising in all federal elections. It is directed by Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government. The co-directors include Michael Franz, associate professor of government at Bowdoin College, and Travis Ridout, associate professor of political science at Washington State University.
Posted in Campus News on Nov. 5, 2010 by David Pesci
Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government, is director of The Wesleyan Media Project.
The Wesleyan Media Project has received a $100,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The Wesleyan Media Project is a non-partisan initiative designed to perform comprehensive tracking and analysis of federal and gubernatorial political advertisements by candidates, parties and special interest groups. It also provides experiential learning for graduate and undergraduate students in the review, coding and analysis of political advertisements.
Since its launch in late September 2010, The Wesleyan Media Project (more…)
Posted in Grants on Nov. 5, 2010 by David Pesci
Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government, received a $100,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The funds will be used to support The Wesleyan Media Project.
More information on this grant is online at: http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2010/11/05/knight-foundation-supports-the-wesleyan-media-project/
Posted in Achievements on Oct. 13, 2010 by David Pesci
The first data analysis released by the Wesleyan Media Project is making national news. The New York Times recently reported that ads mentioning China had been run by 29 candidates for national office and cited the Wesleyan Media Project and it’s director, Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government.
The data analysis findings were also reported by BusinessWeek, among other outlets, and indicate that spending on political ads has increased by $220 million over the 2008 campaign cycle. Some of the increases are a result of senate races in more populous states than in 2008, including California, New York, and Florida. However the recent Supreme Court ruling in the ‘Citizens United’ case allowing more special interest and union money to flow into the campaigns has had an effect, with political action groups and unions coming in as top 10 spenders, some in a less than transparent manner.
“We are seeing evidence of changing tactics as groups seek shelter in the rules for nonprofits that allow such organizations to withhold their donor names,” said Erika Fowler, assistant professor of government and director of the Wesleyan Media Project.
Other stories citing the Wesleyan Media Project have appeared everywhere from NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, CBS News, The Washington Post, to media outlets in China, India, Asia, and Europe.
The full results and data can be found at the Wesleyan Media Project’s site.
The Wesleyan Media Project is a nonpartisan initiative that operates with grant support from The Knight Foundation, The Sunlight Foundation and Wesleyan University.
Posted in Campus News on Sep. 24, 2010 by David Pesci
Erika Franklin Fowler is assistant professor of government. (Photo by Emily Brackman '11)
The issue we ask “5 Questions” of Assistant Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, the director of the newly-launched Wesleyan Media Project, a non-partisan initiative designed to perform comprehensive tracking and analysis of federal and state political advertisements by candidates, parties and special interest groups in every media market in the nation.
Q: What can you tell us about the Wesleyan Media Project?
A: The Wesleyan Media Project will provide nonpartisan, publicly-available, real-time tracking and analysis of all political ads aired on television across the U.S. during the 2010 election campaign. It’s a collaborative effort lead by me and two colleagues, Professor Mike Franz at Bowdoin College and Professor Travis Ridout at Washington State University, which builds on the technology provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG). (more…)