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Prof. Kevin Howley Not Atwitter Over President's Social Media Town Hall

July 9, 2011

5690July 9, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — Kevin Howley, associate professor of communication at DePauw University, acknowledges, "I don’t Tweet. And I don’t plan to open a Twitter account anytime soon. The phrase 'when hell freezes over' comes to mind. In a Bloomington Alternative op-ed, he writes, "Nevertheless, when President Barack Obama hosted a Twitter Town Hall this past week, I’ll admit I was a little curious."

Dr. Howley notes, "Apart from the 'he said, she said' press coverage of budget negotiations in Washington and the media firestorm over Casey Anthony’s acquittal, Obama’s Twitter Town Hall topped the news agenda for a couple of days. The phrase 'starved for entertainment'comes to mind. Press coverage of the event invariably evoked the history of presidential communication, from FDR’s fireside chats on radio to JFK’s televised press conferences. The phrase 'the medium is the message' comes to mind."

After making several other points, the column concludes, "Macon Phillips, White House director of digital strategy, told reporters that the Twitter Town 100024Hall was an attempt to have a 'productive conversation with the public.' The phrase 'who’s kidding whom' comes to mind."

Read the complete essay at College News.org.

Professor Howley is the editor of the textbook, Understanding Community Media and authored Community Media: People, Places, and Communication Technologies. He recently was quoted in Public Broadcasting Report.

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