Politics in a Digital Age

Shaumbaugh Auditorium
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 6:30 PM
Our current political challenges are accompanied by an ongoing revolution in political communication and political participation. But the promise and potential of the "new media" to deliver information and to engage citizens is accompanied by a "digital divide" between those with ready access to such resources and those without. David Perlmutter (Director, UI Journalism) will discuss the emergence and importance of political blogging. Caroline Tolbert (Professor, UI Political Science) will discuss the patterns and policy implications of our "digital divide."


Resources for this topic include a short roll of local and Iowa political blogs:


  • Caroline J. Tolbert

    Caroline J. Tolbert

    Department of Political Science, University of Iowa

    Caroline Tolbert is Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa and the author of more than a half dozen books, as well as dozens of articles in scholarly journals. Her research explores political behavior, elections and representation widely defined.

    Tolbert is coauthor of Digital Citizenship: The Internet Society and Participation (Cambridge, MIT Press, 2008) and Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide (Georgetown University Press, 2003). Digital Citizenship was ranked one of 20 best-selling titles in the social sciences by the American Library Association for 2008. In 2011 she published Why Iowa? How Caucuses and Sequential Elections Improve the Presidential Nominating Process (University of Chicago Press) with D. Redlawsk and T. Donovan). She is also coauthor of Educated by Initiative: The Effects of Direct Democracy on Citizens and Political Organizations in the American States (University of Michigan, 2004), co-editor of Democracy in the States: Experiments in Election Reform (Brookings Institution Press, 2008) and Citizens as Legislators: Direct Democracy in the United States (Ohio State University Press, 1998). Her latest book is Digital Cities: The Internet and Geography of Opportunity under contract with Oxford University Press (with K. Mossberger and W. Franko).

    Tolbert was the General Program Chair (with T. Lee, UC Berkeley) of the 2008 Midwest Political Science Association Meeting. Caroline Tolbert is the former Co-Director of The University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll (with D. Redlawsk, Rutgers University). In 2009 she was named a Collegiate Scholar by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa for excellence in teaching and scholarship.

  • David Perlmutter

    David Perlmutter

    Professor and Director, School of Journalism, University of Iowa

    Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Professor and Starch Faculty Fellow at The University of Iowa. He received his BA ('85) and MA ('91) from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota ('96). He served as a Board member of the American Association of Political Consultants and now sits on the National Law Enforcement Museum Advisory Committee for its Media Exhibit. He has been principal or co-principal investigator in multidisciplinary grants totaling about $400,000. He is a graduate of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication Leadership Workshop. A documentary photographer, he is the author or editor of nine books on political communication and persuasion including: Blogwars: The New Political Battleground, Political Communication, and New Media, Campaigning and the 2008 Facebook Election.

  • John Deeth

    John Deeth

    Local Iowa City blogger

    John Deeth is a Des Moines Register guest blogger who has been featured in publications ranging from the Drudge Report to the Huffington Post. His past affiliations include WSUI radio (NPR) and Iowa Independent. Mr. Deeth and his trademark raspberry beret were a frequent presence on the 2007 Iowa caucus scene. He is a political activist in Johnson County and the Democratic Party, and ran for the Iowa legislature in 1996. The John Deeth Blog, recently listed as one of the top state-level political blogs by the Washington Post, has been published since Dec. 31, 2002. Mr. Deeth’s writing interests include electoral politics in general and Iowa politics in particular, popular music and culture, and technology.

Audio Slideshows