I originally hail from Edmonton, Alberta. I became interested in the role of the news media in the political process after working for a political party at the Legislative Assembly. My dissertation argued that changes in the provincial economy, the political party system, individual leadership style and the political economy of the media drove important changes in the government’s communication and marketing bureaucracy. This has had deleterious effects in the capacity for citizens to hold their elected officials to account via their representatives. Parallel changes are evident in other jurisdictions in Canada and at the federal level. Today, I continue to write on the role of the media in the political and policy process in Canada.
One of my major research interests is the field of political communication and public opinion. I have used both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the influence of patterns of communication on political outcomes.
The bulk of my research since arriving at Wilfrid Laurier University has been to investigate the politics of risk perception, particularly in regards to environmental issues.