Office hours: Tuesdays, 2-4pm
Office: 5004 Vilas Hall
email: cfwells[ at ]wisc[ dot ]edu

Chris Wells is Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication and faculty affiliate of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture. He writes about the communications processes underpinning democratic culture and citizenship; biases of information processing in public opinion formation; the evolution of citizenship practice and communication’s role in that evolution; and how individuals and institutions are adapting to the digital media environment.

Currently he is working on a major study of civic organizations’ communications to young people through websites and social media. Another project explores how candidates, journalists and organizations communicate through the social messaging service Twitter, in 2010 and 2012 elections. And a third assesses the role of beliefs about facts—whether correct or misinformed—in influencing individuals’ policy preferences in direct democracy (referenda and ballot initiatives).

Some of the courses Chris teaches at Madison are J201: Introduction to Mass Communication; J345: Principles of Strategic Communication; and J618: Mass Media and Political Participation.

Chris' educational background includes a Ph.D. in Communication, with the interdisciplinary Certificate in Political Communication, from the University of Washington in 2011. Before entering graduate school he was an environmental advocate working on oceans protection issues in the Puget Sound region. He earned a B.A. in Linguistics from Cornell University in 2003.

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