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Political Science's Assistant Professor Martin Johnson will be Featured Speaker at Citizens University Committee Breakfast Meeting


By Stephanie Wejbe, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

 On Wednesday, November 19, 2003, Political Science Assistant Professor Martin Johnson will be the featured speaker at the Citizens University Committee Breakfast Meeting. The meeting’s topic “Unprecedented Press: Newspapers and the California Recall Campaign,” will address how the election of movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger into California governorship and the historical recall of Governor Gray Davis sparked a media frenzy. Professor Johnson will discuss how he and other social scientists are exploring the press coverage to investigate the historical implications of this landmark election and what it means for democracy in future years.

Johnson commented, “We are just beginning to unpack the events of the recall campaign and little systematic research has focused on the media's response to the recall.”

Johnson’s discussion will also emphasize several differences between the national and state media coverage of the recall. Johnson stated a key difference as “the national media's focus on the novelty of the process and the campaign. The recall campaign was all about Arnold, and not nearly the ‘circus’ -- at least in California -- that the national media said it was. National news media persisted with the ‘circus’ act, particularly, large cable news networks. Californians appear to be much more comfortable with this process, even as unprecedented as it seemed, than the rest of the nation.”

Assistant Professor Martin Johnson received his Ph.D. from Rice University in 2002. His research and teaching interests focus on American political behavior, public policy, and mass media. Martin teaches courses at UCR on elections, political participation, public opinion, and research methods. He is currently studying how social context and other sources of information shape public opinion and the policy choices governments make. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Analysis, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly.

The meeting will be held at the University Extension Centers in Rooms D & E from 7:30-8:30 am. The entrance fee is $15.00 (includes breakfast buffet). Please make checks payable to Citizens University Committee. For more information, please contact the Office of Governmental & Community Relations (909) 787-5184.


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