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Michael Barthel
  Entry Year: 2009
  Graduated: Winter 2014
  Degree Program: PhD
  Area of Study: Political communication
  Undergraduate Degree: Politics/Creative Writing
  Other Degree: MA Media Studies

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Michael was born in Northern New York State and got his BA at Oberlin College in Ohio before moving to New York City. He received his Master's in Media Studies from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University in 2009; his thesis tested experimentally whether a videogame about the federal budget could increase political trust. (It could.) An adapted version has been accepted for publication in Information, Communication, and Society. Michael is also a freelance journalist, and has written for such publications as the Village Voice, Salon, GQ, Esquire, the Atlantic, and the Awl.

His research focuses on political communication, with a particular interest in institutional trust, especially as regards the government and the press. Among other things, he has studied the effect of different kinds of Internet usage on political, social, and media trust; the professional norms and practices of web journalists; and the effect of how knowledge of a governmentally-sponsored deliberative process affects trust in government and efficacy.