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On Wisconsin magazine hosts chat with UW–Madison experts on election 2016

September 12, 2016 By Jenny Price
Photos: Students at voting booths

Students cast their ballots for the presidential election and several state positions at a polling place in the Memorial Union in November 2012. Photo: Jeff Miller

Nearly two-thirds of voting-age Americans use social media, which means candidates have no choice but to turn to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms in their efforts to reach them.

The fall issue of On Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s alumni magazine, explores the myriad ways campaigns and voters use social media, and the article will be the springboard for a live video chat — held one week before the first presidential debate — featuring a panel of UW–Madison experts. Topics covered by the magazine include: how campaigns employ social media to bolster their authenticity; how voters use social media to “second-screen” debates; and how social media influences public opinion about candidates and issues.

“We want to engage readers in new ways,” says John Lucas, executive director of University Communications. “The chat format will give alumni the chance to interact with UW experts about what they’ve read in the magazine and learn more about this historic presidential campaign as it unfolds in real time.”

The chat can be viewed Sept. 20 from 7-8 p.m. at

The UW–Madison experts participating in the chat will be:

Photo: Barry Burden, Michael W. Wagner, Michael Xenos

Barry Burden, a professor of political science and director of the UW’s Elections Research Center. His research and teaching focus on U.S. elections, public opinion, representation and the U.S. Congress.

Michael W. Wagner, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication who’s also affiliated with the Department of Political Science. His research and teaching center on how well democracy works.

Michael Xenos, a professor of communication science and chair of the Department of Communication Arts. His research and teaching focus on how the internet and social media may help people learn about political issues, form opinions and participate in politics.

On Wisconsin co-editor Jenny Price and UW–Madison social media specialist Nate Moll will moderate the chat. Viewers can submit questions via Twitter to @OnWisMag ahead of — or during — the event using the hashtag #OnWisChat.

The magazine is published four times a year for alumni and friends of UW–Madison, in partnership with University Communications, University Marketing and the University of Wisconsin Foundation, which provides funding for the magazine. One of the largest circulation alumni magazines in the country, On Wisconsin is mailed to some 340,000 homes each quarter.