Press Room

Communication Scholars Available to Discuss December Democratic Presidential Primary Debate

December 12, 2019
Experts Available

Although new candidates have joined the race in recent weeks, just seven candidates have qualified for the December Democratic debate. How will these candidates distinguish themselves in a still-crowded field? The National Communication Association can put reporters in touch with leading Communication scholars who specialize in social media, news media coverage, and conspiracy theories. These experts are well-equipped to address a variety of questions about the debate and the Democratic primary: 

  • How have candidates successfully (and unsuccessfully) used news media to transmit political messages? 
  • How are presidential campaigns using social media and digital technologies? 
  • In what ways are presidential candidates accessible via social media? 
  • What role are conspiracy theories playing in the race? 


Kevin Coe
Associate Professor of Communication, University of Utah

Dr. Coe researches political communication. Dr. Coe uses a range of methods, including quantitative content analysis, experiments, and rhetorical analysis, to examine (a) how political elites communicate strategically to influence media coverage and public perceptions; (b) how news media cover political issues and transmit political messages; and (c) how public discourse and perceptions reflect political considerations. Dr. Coe has largely focused on various aspects of U.S. identity (e.g., national identity in times of war/crisis, religious identity, gender identity, racial identity) and/or on the quality of public discourse (e.g., on the focus of news coverage, on the presence of incivility in the public sphere).

Josh Scacco 
Assistant Professor of Media Theory and Politics, University of South Florida

Dr. Scacco also serves as a Faculty Research Associate for Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Scacco specializes in political communication, media content and effects, and quantitative research methods. Dr. Scacco is interested in how emerging communication technologies influence established agents in American political life, including news organizations and the presidency. For example, Dr. Scacco’s research has examined how the presidency is ubiquitous in modern life because of the current media environment.

Jennifer Stromer-Galley 
Professor of Information Studies, Syracuse University 

Dr. Stromer-Galley is an expert of political campaigns and strategic communication on social media, including paid ads on Facebook and Instagram. Dr. Stomer-Galley’s award-winning book, Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age, provides a history of presidential campaigns between 1996 and 2016 as they have adopted and adapted to digital communication technologies. Dr. Stromer-Galley has recently begun to study conspiracy theories and ways to reduce conspiracy thinking using a variety of techniques. 

To schedule an interview with any of these experts, please contact Grace Hébert at or 202-534-1104. 

About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems. NCA supports inclusiveness and diversity among our faculties, within our membership, in the workplace, and in the classroom; NCA supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion. 

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