Columbia Native Pens Book on The Role of Media in Presidential Politics

June 28, 2009

Nowhere is the media more present and important than when a candidate runs for office and no time is the media more scrutinized than during a presidential campaign.

COLUMBIA, SC – June 29, 2009 – Frank W. Baker, a national media education consultant, has written a timely and important text: Political Campaigns & Political Advertising: A Media Literacy Guide. (Greenwood Press, June 2009). This was one of the most talked about campaigns in recent history, says Baker. More than 70 million people watched the Biden-Palin vice presidential debate; 38 million viewers heard the convention acceptance speeches of Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain.

Millions more followed the returns on television and the Internet. Blogs, cell phones and other new media are engaging more young people than ever before, and NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ saw its ratings rise with the addition of Tina Fey as Sarah Palin.

Baker’s book examines the historical role of the media in past and present campaigns: from the use of photography during the campaigns of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt; to the rise of both radio and television as they documented conventions and debates; to the birth of the political media consultant and now new media. Along the way readers learn how Ronald Reagan became the great communicator’ and how fear has been used in political advertising.

Baker says the book is also designed to raise the media awareness and media literacy of citizens. Today’s world is an image driven one, he adds, and it is extremely important that people know how to understand visual literacy and how campaigns manipulate the media. If we have a media illiterate population, everyone will be fooled into believing everything, without question.

Frank W. Baker

 Baker, a 1977 graduate of the University of Georgia, worked in television news for 9 years and public education (Orange County Public Schools-Orlando, Florida) for 11 years. Upon returning to South Carolina in 1998, he co-taught a media literacy course at the University of South Carolina and investigated how all 50 state’s teaching standards include media literacy. His first book, Coming Distractions: Questioning Movies was published in 2007 by Capstone Press as an introduction to critical viewing/ media literacy for elementary students. As an education consultant, he works with K-12 schools to help teachers integrate media literacy one of the vital 21st Century skills all students need to succeed.

Further details about the book can be found here:

Frank Baker’s Media Literacy Clearinghouse website can be found here:

To arrange interviews: contact the author: Email [email protected] or via telephone (803) 254-8987