Benjamin Toff

A political scientist by training, I study journalism, political communication, and public opinion. More broadly, I am interested in the relationships between America’s changing news media and the political landscape. As of August 2016, I have joined the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford as a research fellow on a project studying the behavior of news avoidance. In Fall 2017, I will be joining the faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

My doctoral dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, entitled “The Blind Scorekeepers: Journalism, Polling, and the Battle to Define Public Opinion in American Politics,” focused on the role played by quantitative survey data in news coverage of American politics, assessing changes over time, effects on public attitudes, and shifting journalistic norms and practices. My CV is here.

Prior to entering academia, I spent several years working as a journalist. My writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York magazine, The Boston Globe, and The Harvard Crimson. From 2005-2011, I was a full time researcher and assistant to New York Times Op-Ed columnist Frank Rich, who left the paper in 2011 for New York magazine.

Born in Los Angeles, Calif., I grew up in Tucson, Ariz., graduated from Harvard University with high honors in social studies, and lived for several years afterwards in Brooklyn and Newark.

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