Benjamin Toff

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I study journalism, political communication, and public opinion—or broadly speaking, the changing relationship between politics and news. From 2016-2017, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.

I am currently developing a book manuscript based upon my doctoral dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which was entitled “The Blind Scorekeepers: Journalism, Polling, and the Battle to Define Public Opinion in American Politics.” This project focuses 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.

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 then-New York Times Op-Ed columnist Frank Rich.

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


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