Back to Experts

Michael W. Wagner

Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Michael W. Wagner is a professor in the University of Wisconsin Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His research, teaching, and service are animated by the question, “how well does democracy work?” Wagner approaches this question from a variety of perspectives, incorporating into his work the study of political communication, political parties, journalism, public opinion, political psychology, political behavior, religion and politics, the presidency, and biology.

An award-winning teacher, Wagner teaches courses from the 200-to-800-levels focusing on reporting, political communication, media and behavior, physiology and communication, fact-checking (where he runs the fact-checking site The Observatory with Lucas Graves), public opinion and opinion writing. Wagner was a Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence Fellow at UW-Madison in 2012-13 and was named the Hazel R. McClymont Distinguished Teaching Fellow while on the faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s (UNL) Department of Political Science in 2012. A vote of the student body named Wagner UNL’s Outstanding Educator of the Year in 2009. His research, teaching, and student mentoring earned him the UNL College of Arts and Sciences distinction of “Academic Star” in 2011. With colleagues Katy Culver and Stacy Forster and his student Megan Duncan, Wagner wrote an ebook called The Media Handbook for SJMC students.

Relevant writing:

Falsehoods about Wisconsin’s vote count are flying. Here’s the truth.” in Wisconsin Watch

Fighting Misinformation: Pumping up News Feeds With Facts” in WXPR

When are readers likely to believe a fact-check?” in Brookings

State Expertise: Wis.
Speaks: English, Spanish

I can help with...

  • Civil Unrest
  • Election Results
  • Electoral College
  • In-person Voting
  • Mail-in Voting
  • Misinformation
  • Polling
  • Redistricting
  • Voter Behavior
  • Voter Suppression

Email Me