Mitchell S. McKinney

Dr. McKinney
Professor
Office: 
216 Switzler Hall
Phone: 
573-882-9230

Dr. Mitchell S. McKinney teaches courses in political communication, and rhetorical theory and criticism. His research interests include presidential debates, political campaigns, civic engagement, media and politics, and presidential rhetoric. McKinney is the co-author/editor of 7 books, including Political Socialization in a Media Saturated World (with Thorson & Shah), alieNATION: The Divide and Conquer Election of 2012 (with Bystrom, Tedesco & Banwart), Communication in the 2008 U.S. Election: Digital Natives Elect a President (with Banwart), Communicating Politics: Engaging the Public in Democratic Life (with Kaid, Bystrom & Carlin), The Millennium Election: Communication in the 2000 Campaign (with Kaid, Tedesco & Bystrom), Civic Dialogue in the 1996 Presidential Campaign (with Kaid & Tedesco), and The 1992 Presidential Debates in Focus (with Carlin). His research has also appeared in major communication, journalism, and interdisciplinary journals, including Journal of Communication, Communication Monographs, Journalism Studies, Communication Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, Argumentation and Advocacy, Social Science Computer Review, and Journal of Constructivist Psychology.

Dr. McKinney has combined practical political experience with his training as a political communication scholar, having served as a staff member in the U.S. Senate and at the White House. He has served as a consultant to C-SPAN and the U.S. Commission on Presidential Debates, advising the Commission on how debates might be structured in order to better educate voters. He also served as an adviser for the Korean government working with election officials in Seoul to plan the 2002 televised Korean presidential debates. Dr. McKinney provides regular expert political commentary for such national media as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN and NPR.

In 2006-07, McKinney served as Director of Academic Affairs for the National Communication Association (NCA) in Washington, DC where he was responsible for the association's academic programming and initiatives in the areas of scholarship, research and teaching. In 2002, McKinney was selected as one of five teacher-scholars to facilitate NCA's Hope Institute for Faculty Development. He is the founding Chair of the Central States Communication Association's Political Communication Interest Group, and he has also served as Chair of NCA's Political Communication Division. In 2012-13, Dr. McKinney was President of the Central States Communication Association.

Dr. McKinney has received top awards from the University of Missouri for both teaching and graduate education, including the Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009, and the University of Missouri’s Graduate Faculty Mentor Award in 2011. In 2012-13, Dr. McKinney was named a Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute Research Fellow, and he holds a courtesy faculty appointment with the Missouri School of Journalism. Dr. McKinney is the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication at MU, and he also serves as Director of the Political Communication Institute at Missouri (pci.missouri.edu).

Frequently Taught Courses
Com 3050 - Survey of Communication Studies
Com 4473 - Political Communication
Com 8110 - Introduction to Graduate Study in Communication
Com 8160 - Rhetorical Criticism
Com 8610 - Survey of Political Communication
Com 9280 - Seminar in Communication Theory
Com 9620 - Political Campaign Debates


 

Research Interests
Presidential debates

Political campaigns

Media and politics

Civic engagement
Presidential rhetoric


Selected Recent Publications
Cole, H. J., & McKinney, M. S. (in press). Debating marriage equality in the 2012 elections. In J. C. Tedesco, D. G. Bystrom, M. S. McKinney, & M. C. Banwart (Eds.), alieNATION: The divide and conquer election of 2012. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Hawthorne, J., & McKinney, M. S. (in press). To form a more polarized electorate? The effect of presidential debates on polarization, partisanship and political aggression. In J. C. Tedesco, D. G. Bystrom, M. S. McKinney, & M. C. Banwart (Eds.), alieNATION: The divide and conquer election of 2012. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

McKinney, M. S., Rill, L. A., & Thorson, E. (in press). Civic engagement through presidential debates: Young citizens’ political attitudes in the 2012 election. American Behavioral Scientist, 58, na.

Rill, L. A., & McKinney, M. S. (in press). Defying expectations: Young citizens’ political attitudes and participation in the 2012 election. In J. C. Tedesco, D. G. Bystrom, M. S. McKinney, & M. C. Banwart (Eds.), alieNATION: The divide and conquer election of 2012. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Tedesco, J. C., Bystrom, D. G., McKinney, M. S., & Banwart, M. C. (Eds.). (in press). alieNATION: The Divide and conquer election of 2012. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Hawthorne, J., Houston, J. B., & McKinney, M. S. (2013). Live-tweeting a presidential primary debate: Exploring new political conversations. Social Science Computer Review, 31, 101-111.

Houston, J. B., Hawthorne, J., Spialek, M. L., Greenwood, M., & McKinney, M. S. (2013). Tweeting during presidential debates: Effect on candidate evaluations and debate attitudes. Argumentation and Advocacy, 49, 302-312.

Houston, J. B., McKinney, M. S., Hawthorne, J., Spialek, M. L., & Greenwood, M. (2013). Frequency of tweeting during presidential debates: Effect on debate attitudes and knowledge. Communication Studies, 64, 549-561.

McKinney, M. S. (2013). Consistency and change in political campaign communication: Analyzing the 2012 elections. Communication Studies, 64, 467-469.

McKinney, M. S., Houston, J. B., & Hawthorne, J. (2013). Social watching a 2012 Republican presidential primary debate. American Behavioral Scientist, 57, 278-291.

McKinney, M. S., & Warner, B. R. (2013). Do presidential debates matter? Examining a decade of campaign debate effects. Argumentation and Advocacy, 49, 238-258.

Warner, B. R., & McKinney, M. S. (2013). The polarizing effect of presidential debates. Communication Studies, 64, 508-527.

McKinney, M. S. (2012). Communication and political participation: Engaging young citizens in political life. In A. K. Goodboy & K. Shultz (Eds.), Introduction to communication studies: Translating scholarship into meaningful practice (pp. 365-373). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

McKinney, M. S. (2012). Debating democracy: The history and effects of U.S. presidential debates. Spectra, 48, 8-12.

McKinney, M. S., & Banwart, M. C. (Eds.). (2011). Communication in the 2008 U.S. election: Digital natives elect a president. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

McKinney, M. S., & Banwart, M. C. (2011). The election of a lifetime. In M. S. McKinney & Mary C. Banwart (Eds.), Communication in the 2008 U.S. election: Digital natives elect a president (pp. 1-9). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

McKinney, M. S., Rill, L. A., & Gully, D. (2011). Political engagement through presidential debates: Attitudes of political engagement throughout the 2008 election. In M. S. McKinney & M. C. Banwart (Eds.), Communication in the 2008 U.S. election: Digital natives elect a president (pp. 121-142). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

McKinney, M. S., & Rill, L. A., & Watson, R. G. (2011). Who framed Sarah Palin? Viewer reactions to the 2008 vice presidential debate. American Behavioral Scientist, 55(3), 212-231.

Rill, L. A., & McKinney, M. S. (2011). Talking politics: Young citizens’ interpersonal interaction during the 2008 presidential campaign. In M. S. McKinney & M. C. Banwart (Eds.), Communication in the 2008 U.S. election: Digital natives elect a president (pp. 51-70). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

McKinney, M. S., & Banwart, M. C. (2010). The Biden – Palin 2008 vice presidential debate: An examination of gender and candidate issue expertise. In J. A. Hendricks & L. L. Kaid (Eds.), Techno politics in presidential campaigning: New voices, new technologies, and new voters (pp. 158-174). New York: Routledge.

Kaid, L. L., McKinney, M. S., & Tedesco, J. C. (2009). Political communication. In L. R. Frey & K. N. Cissna (Eds.), Handbook of applied communication (pp. 254-276). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers.

McKinney, M. S., Davis, C. B., & Delbert, J. (2009). The first – and last – woman standing: Analyzing Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential primary debate performance. In T.F. Sheckels (Ed.), Cracked but not shattered: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s unsuccessful campaign for the presidency (pp. 197-213). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

McKinney, M. S., & Rill, L. A. (2009). Not your parents’ presidential debates: Examining the effects of the CNN/YouTube debates on young citizens’ civic engagement. Communication Studies, 60(4), 392-406.