Dr. Janet Johnson’s research has centered on the relationship between social media and politics. Now, Johnson will have a first-hand opportunity to see her research brought to life.
The White House has selected the clinical assistant professor to attend and “live-tweet” the State of the Union, which will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to bring practical experience to my research,” said Johnson, who teaches in the Emerging Media and Communication program. “Tweeting from the White House will not only enhance my studies, but my students will gain a better understanding of the power of social media in the political process.”
Johnson’s visit to the Capitol comes in conjunction with a program called White House Socials, which invites White House social media followers to join in-person events, engage with administration officials, and share their experience with their friends. She will watch President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address live from the White House, and then participate in a panel with senior staff to discuss the vision and policies laid out in the speech. Participants will share their experience on Twitter using the #SOTUSocial hashtag.
Last year, only 100 of 2,000 applicants were chosen to participate in the White House Social event for the State of the Union.
Johnson’s dissertation was titled Blogs and Dialogism in the 2008 United States Presidential Campaign, and she has studied social media and the political process throughout her career. She teaches communication classes specializing in social media that include “Reading Media Critically,” “Introduction to Computer-Mediated Communications” and “Special Topics in Communications and Social Media.”