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Stephen Farnsworth
Stephen J. Farnsworth
Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

University of Mary Washington

Stephen Farnsworth

Stephen J. Farnsworth, Ph.D., is professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington, where he has taught for 16 years and directs the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. During his time at the University of Mary Washington, Dr. Farnsworth has won three campuswide teaching awards.

Dr. Farnsworth is the author or co-author of five books: “The Global President: International News and the U.S. Government” (Rowman & Littlefield); “Spinner in Chief: How Presidents Sell Their Policies and Themselves” (Paradigm Press); “The Nightly News Nightmare: Media Coverage of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1988-2008” (Rowman & Littlefield, third edition, co-author); “The Mediated Presidency: Television News and Presidential Governance” (Rowman & Littlefield, co-author); and “Political Support in a Frustrated America” (Praeger). He also is the author or co-author of dozens of articles and book chapters on the mass media, the presidency and U.S. and Virginia politics.

Farnsworth was a Canada-U.S. Fulbright Research Scholar at McGill University in Montreal and is a former president of the Political Communication Section of the American Political Science Association. He is a former president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the 700-chapter national political science honor society.

He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in government from Georgetown University after having received a B.A. in history from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a B.A. in government from Dartmouth College. He has lectured on the news media and elections and led reporter-training seminars in India, the Philippines, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Latvia, Armenia and Estonia on programs funded by the U.S. government. In addition to Mary Washington, Dr. Farnsworth has taught at Georgetown, McGill and George Mason universities.

Before becoming an academic, Dr. Farnsworth worked for 10 years as a daily newspaper journalist, mostly with the Kansas City Star & Times. 

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