Media and Politics

Research and Class Material

Sarah Oates

Professor and Senior Scholar 

Philip Merrill College of Journalism

2100L John S. and James L. Knight Hall

University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742


I am a political communication professor with 25 years of experience in analyzing media production, content, and audiences. I focus on media and democratization in Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. My current research focuses on the spread of Russian propaganda in foreign media system. I have completed several research projects measuring media content and effects related to elections, democratization, and security. I also do in-depth research in online political communication.

Streamlined CV here: Oates CV external June 2017.docx

Full CV here:

A special welcome to students studying media and politics around the globe! 

Here is a free chapter from my textbook to download: 

See here for online resources for the study of political communication:

Much of my own work can be downloaded here:


See an excerpt from my book from Oxford University Press or download an excerpt in PDF form

Revolution Stalled: The Political Limits of the Internet in the Post-Soviet Sphere


Download PDF Chapter 1: internet class/chapter 1 from publisher.pdf


Introduction to Media and Politics by Sarah Oates

A textbook for the emerging field of comparative media studies -- you can search inside on or

SAGE 2008 

Introduction to Media and Politics draws together evidence from the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and beyond to provide students with an understanding of the relationship between the media and the political sphere. This highly accessible text balances theory with case studies on elections, war, terrorism, and the emerging role of the Internet, enabling the reader to think critically about how the media should work in the service of democracy. It places the study of media and politics in a comparative perspective, allowing the reader to consider how the same media institutions - including commercial and public service broadcasting, paid political advertising, and war coverage - function in different countries. This text is essential reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students of media and politics.

Terrorism, Elections, and Democracy:

Political Campaigns in the United States, Great Britain, and Russia 

Sarah Oates, Lynda Lee Kaid, and Mike Berry

Palgrave Macmillan 2009

The politics of fear have come to dominate much of the political agenda in many countries in the wake of 9/11. Terrorism, Elections, and Democracy examines how the fear of terrorism affected how elections were fought and won in 2004 and 2005. The book finds original and compelling evidence for how security issues dominated elections in the United States and Russia, while discussing why British politics were relatively unchanged. The findings suggest that the democratic intentions of elections can be overwhelmed when politicians, journalists, and the public focus on fear rather than politics in a campaign.