Two professors in same department will soon have books on the market


Two associate professors in the NKU Political Science, Criminal Justice and Organizational Leadership Department will soon have new books on the market.

Dr. Michael Baranowski expects his first book, Navigating the News: A Political Media User's Guide, to be released before the 2013 fall semester begins.

Dr. Julie Olberding wrote a chapter for Kentucky Government, Politics, and Public Policy, a comprehensive
look at the state’s political system that should be available in November.

Baranowski wrote his book to give readers a better understanding of political media in America. He examines various news sources and shows how television, newspapers, radio, the Internet and social media can distort our view of politics.

“The longer I taught political science the more I realized how any impact I might have in the classroom was dwarfed by the impact of the media, which students are exposed to continually throughout their lives,” Baranowski said.

To help students and the general public become better consumers of political media, Baranowski wrote a “user’s guide” to convey four key points that he learned from his research:

        · Things are rarely as bad as the media makes them seem.
        · No single story can give you the full picture.
        · Numbers are often misleading.
        · The media is biased. And so are you.

Olberding was recruited to write a chapter about local government collaboration in Northern Kentucky for the
latest book on government and politics in the Bluegrass State.

She was chosen for the assignment because her dissertation for a doctoral degree was on local government collaboration throughout the nation. She has also been involved with regional planning initiatives in Northern Kentucky since moving here in 1999.

Based on her research, Olberding said our area is ahead of any other region in the state and most regions in the country when it comes to inter-government planning initiatives and partnership projects.

“It does speak about the good things that come from this,” Olberding said of her chapter in the book. “But it also identifies the challenges with this type of approach, and it has some lessons I was able to gather from talking with people involved in it.”

Olberding expects the new book to be used in college and possibly high school classrooms around the state to replace an outdated Kentucky government and politics textbook that was published 20 years ago.

“I think the editors’ primary motivation was there’s not an up-to-date book for teaching state government in Kentucky,” she said. “But in addition to basic government structure and institutions there are chapters on education reform, campaign finance reform, ethics, health care and other things that the general public and hopefully state government administrators will be interested in as well.”