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Election offers opportunity for civic engagement, education

Faculty give tips for avoiding information overload
Monday, October 1, 2012

A founding principle of American democracy is the right to vote, and citizens will have an opportunity to exercise that right in the impending presidential election. How can these selections be made with confidence? Dr. Brian Calfano, associate professor of political science at Missouri State University, and Dr. Elizabeth Dudash, assistant professor of communication at Missouri State, share tips on feeling more surefooted stepping into the voting booth.

“You should not base a decision solely on advertising – whether a character ad or an issue ad,” said Dudash. “Get as much information as you can tolerate…and don’t get discouraged by all of the options for finding information. Seek it out, then critically think about where those messages are coming from.”

Calfano recommends visiting www.factcheck.org or www.politifact.org to verify claims from advertisements or the media. Knowing that most individuals will not spend a great deal of time in this pursuit, he offers options like the Washington Post, which gathers political information and provides a level of analysis in a fairly balanced manner.

“Political conversation can be pretty enlightening if you keep in mind that we are all people with limited information,” said Calfano.

On Oct. 3, the department of communication will host DebateWatch at the Gillioz Theatre, 325 Park Central East, at 8 p.m. This viewing of the first presidential debate will be free and open to the public. A panel of experts on media, politics and presidential campaigns will be available after the debate for discussion with community members.

“Hot Topics – Expert Source” releases are a tool the office of university communications provides to assist media in locating a university source to comment on a particular subject or issue. The opinions expressed by the expert are those of a specific individual and are not necessarily representative of the views of the university.

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About Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive university system with a mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons while guided by three overarching and enduring commitments to student learning, inclusive excellence and institutional impact. The university’s identity is distinguished by its statewide mission in public affairs, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster competence and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.

 

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  • Dr. Elizabeth Dudash
  • (417) 836-4602
  • dudash@missouristate.edu

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