SJMC’s Mike Wagner Awarded the Vilas Associates Award

Mike Wagner head shot

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s divisional Research Committees recently awarded the SJMC’s Mike Wagner with the Vilas Associates Award for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years. The Vilas Associates Award is a highly competitive honor that recognizes new and ongoing research of the highest quality from all departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wagner will receive up to two-ninths of research salary support for both summers 2018 and 2019, as well as a $12,500 flexible research fund in each of the two fiscal years.

Professor Wagner will be using the additional funds to continue his existing research of examining partisan polarization in the electorate, as well as how journalists behave in ideologically polarized environments. His research specifically looks at how journalists make decisions about what to cover and how to cover it, in addition how journalists assess media bias in the work of their competitors. Wagner plans to expand upon initial research and conduct three additional survey experiments on national samples of American journalists. The funding from the Vilas Associates Award will allow him to reach out to this larger pool of journalists.

As Wagner balances a variety of research projects such as completing a construction of the Wisconsin media ecology in the 21st century and leading a team of students in a major-fact checking project, the Vilas Associates Award is an exciting addition to his current list of projects.

Wagner is an associate professor with SJMC whose research and teaching focuses on multiple perspectives, including religion, politics and journalism, and how they each influence how well democracy works.