University of Pittsburgh
July 22, 2007

And We Thought "Television" Had Changed the Face of Political Campaigns-Now, Via the Magic of the Web and YouTube, People From Around the Country Will Be Asking the Presidential Candidates Questions During Tonight's Debate on CNN

Pitt professors are available to comment on this monumental shift in political communication
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-In a first for television and political campaigns, the public will get to ask presidential candidates the tough questions during tonight's debate, via the magic of the Web and YouTube. University of Pittsburgh communication professors will be available to discuss the impact of this phenomenon on campaigning.

Barbara Warnick, professor of communication_ and chair of Pitt's Department of Communication, is author of "Rhetoric Online: Persuasion and Politics on the World Wide Web" (New York: Peter Lang, 2007). She is interested in what this media shift means for rhetorical analysis and criticism. In her current research, Warnick questions, "How does persuasion as a form of social influence occur in new media environments?"

Warnick explores how the modes of communication in new media environments are shaped and constrained by the media in which they are communicated.

Gerald Shuster, Pitt lecturer in presidential rhetoric and political communication in Pitt's Department of Communication, is primarily interested in the political arena from a political communication perspective, evaluating communication theories and concepts in political campaigns by the strategies candidates and political parties use. Shuster's expertise includes the modern presidency-from John Kennedy through the current president.

Shuster frequently provides the media with commentary on political issues, campaigns, and events, as well as analysis of presidential addresses.