Our Research

The Annette Strauss Institute seeks to improve scholarly and public understanding of media, politics, and civic participation. Our affiliated faculty conducts research on topics such as political languageconsumer news choice, political discourse, and media coverage of politics and policy.  In addition, the Institute houses the Engaging News Project, the Texas Civic Health Index, and the Campaign Mapping Project, and annually gives the Patricia Witherspoon Award to support graduate student research on public service, civic life, and citizenship.


Texas Media & Society survey

Texas Media & Society Survey

The Texas Media & Society Survey is a broad-ranging survey on the topics of journalism, the media, politics, civic engagement, discussion networks and communities.

Patricia Witherspoon Award

Patricia Witherspoon Award

Patricia Witherspoon Research Award offsets costs for students conducting original research in the areas of public service, government, community service, civic life, citizenship, or politics.

Campaign Mapping Project

Campaign Mapping Project

A multi-year effort to assemble political campaign materials produced during presidential elections between 1948 and 2012, as a guide to understand the direction of American politics.

digital media research project

Digital Media Research Project (DMRP)

The core mission of this new systematic Research Program is to advance understanding of today’s complex information communication technologies and media effects.

Texas Civic Health Index

Texas Civic Health Index

The Texas Civic Health Index provides a comprehensive, first-time look at civic and political engagement in Texas. It presents information about who engages in their communities, in politics, and how.

Civic Engagment

Civic Engagement in Austin

Report by the Annette Strauss Institute and Leadership Austin reveals insights into the 10-1 system of geographic representation and how Austinites from across the city view the transition to the 10-1 system.

Knight Report Cover Title

Newspaper Decline and the Effect on Local Government Coverage

In a new report written for the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life and sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Jay Jennings and Meghan Rubado present their research on the decline of local newspapers and the effect it is having on communities.

Vote! in thought bubble

Electorally Speaking

The Electorally Speaking Project features a set of studies addressing how people talk about voting in the United States and why it matters. One new report, supported by Democracy Fund, presents findings on how to talk about threats to the mechanics of elections in ways that don't dampen people's desire to vote.

Faculty Research Group

The Faculty Research Group is composed of faculty from the Colleges and Schools of Communication, Education, Law, Liberal Arts, Social Work, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Their research and teaching range broadly in the areas of political participation, civic volunteerism, media and politics, and social studies curricula in the nation's schools.

David Anderson, Law
Ronald Angel, Sociology
Bruce Buchanan, Government
Richard Cherwitz, Communication
John Daly, Communication
Meme Drumwright, Communication
Betty Sue Flowers, LBJ Library
James Galbraith, LBJ School
Sherri Greenberg, LBJ School
John Higley, Sociology
Sharon Jarvis, Communication
Michael Lauderdale, Social Work
David Leal, Government
Robert Luskin, Government
Maxwell McCombs, Communication
Jamie Pennebaker, Psychology
H. W. Perry, Government
Scott Powe, Law
Stephen Reese, Communication
Lodis Rhodes, LBJ School
Nancy Schiesari, Radio-Television-Film
Jay Scribner, Education
Daron Shaw, Government
Bartholomew Sparrow, Government
Calvin Streeter, Social Work
Talia Stroud, Communication
Sean Theriault, Government
Craig Watkins, Sociology