In the Cap Times: UW professor Young Mie Kim studies 'suspicious,' divisive political ads on Facebook

When UW-Madison professor Young Mie Kim and her team set out to research divisive political ads on Facebook during the 2016 election, they embarked on a first-of-its-kind study of how groups try to target and influence voters. What they found — that more than half of these ads came from "suspicious" groups with little to no identifiable information — has led Kim to spend six months at the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Legal Center, where she will research and advocate federal solutions to the issue of digital political advertising. 

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In the Cap Times: With 'cult narrative' on the rise, professor argues for nuanced look at religious movements

The talk — “The Cult Narrative and the Branch Davidians" — was a product of a joint effort between the university's Religious Studies Program and School of Journalism and Mass Communication to help journalists better cover religious subjects. It’s the product of a two-year grant given to Susan Ridgely and Michael Wagner, associate professors.

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Young Mie Kim in Newsweek: Will the social media loopholes be closed before the Midterm Elections?

Young Mie Kim, a journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, collected controversial Facebook ads displayed over a six week-period before the 2016 elections. She found that one-half of groups purchasing these ads not only failed to file a report with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), but also had no IRS or online footprint indicating who they were.

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Young Mie Kim in Wired Magazine: How Russian Facebook ads divided and targeted U.S. voters before the 2016 election

When Young Mie Kim began studying political ads on Facebook in August of 2016 — while Hillary Clinton was still leading the polls — few people had ever heard of the Russian propaganda group, Internet Research Agency. Not even Facebook itself understood how the group was manipulating the platform’s users to influence the election. For Kim, a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the goal was to document the way the usual dark money groups target divisive election ads online, the kind that would be more strictly regulated if they appeared on TV. She never knew then she was walking into a crime scene.

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Faithfully pursuing the news

A collaboration between the Religious Studies Program and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication is working to improve media coverage of religion.

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Through a student lens

When a gorgeous photograph of Madison stops you mid-scroll on Instagram, there’s a good chance that image is courtesy of journalism major Sam Li.

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Lewis Friedland on NBC Nightly News: TV anchors decrying ‘fake’ news puts spotlight on Sinclair Broadcast Group

The country’s largest local broadcast group is under fire for requiring local news anchors in dozens of markets to read an identical promo ad script, criticizing “false news” and “fake stories.”

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Man of da Minute

With his hit comedy news show, the Manitowoc Minute, L&S grad Charlie Berens shares a slice of Wisconsin with the rest of the world.

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Chris Wells quoted on KVUE.com: Russian Twitter trolls stoked racial tension in wake of Milwaukee rioting before 2016 election

A team that included University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Professor of Journalism Chris Wells found last month that at least 116 articles from U.S. media outlets included tweets from @TEN_GOP and other Russian-linked accounts, with the tweets usually cited as examples of supposedly ordinary Americans voicing their views. Wells said that the tweets found by the Journal Sentinel seemed similar.

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