Scott Althaus, Director, Cline Center for Advanced Social Research

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Scott Althaus is Merriam Professor of Political Science, Professor of Communication, and Director of the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also has faculty appointments with the School of Information Sciences and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. His work with the Cline Center applies text analytics methods and Artificial Intelligence algorithms to extract insights from millions of news stories in ways that produce new forms of knowledge that advance societal well-being around the world. His own research interests explore the communication processes that support political accountability in democratic societies and that empower political discontent in non-democratic societies. His interests focus on four areas of inquiry: (1) how journalists construct news coverage about public affairs, (2) how leaders attempt to shape news coverage for political advantage, (3) how citizens use news coverage for making sense of public affairs, and (4) how the opinions of citizens are communicated back to leaders. He has particular interests in popular support for war, data science methods for extreme-scale analysis of news coverage, cross-national comparative research on political communication, the psychology of information processing, and communication concepts in democratic theory. His current projects include using data mining methods to help journalists cover terrorist attacks in responsible ways and a book manuscript to be published by Cambridge University Press about the dynamics of popular support for war in the United States.


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • JA Political science (General)
  • Q Science (General)
  • Z665 Library Science. Information Science
  • ZA4050 Electronic information resources
  • ZA4450 Databases

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Research Output 1996 2018

Global News Broadcasting in the Pre-Television Era: A Cross-National Comparative Analysis of World War II Newsreel Coverage

Althaus, S. L., Usry, K., Richards, S., Van Thuyle, B., Aron, I., Huang, L., Leetaru, K., Muehlfeld, M., Snouffer, K., Weber, S., Zhang, Y. & Phalen, P. Jan 2 2018 In : Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. 62, 1, p. 147-167 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

World War II

A Progressive Supervised-learning Approach to Generating Rich Civil Strife Data

Nardulli, P. F., Althaus, S. L. & Hayes, M. Aug 1 2015 In : Sociological Methodology. 45, 1, p. 148-183 36 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

sociocultural factors
data collection method

Roundtable on Political Epistemology

Althaus, S., Bevir, M., Friedman, J., Landemore, H., Smith, R. & Stokes, S. Jan 1 2014 In : Critical Review. 26, 1-2, p. 1-32 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

political science
Political Science

Uplifting Manhood to Wonderful Heights? News Coverage of the Human Costs of Military Conflict From World War I to Gulf War Two

Althaus, S. L., Swigger, N., Chernykh, S., Hendry, D. J., Wals, S. C. & Tiwald, C. Jan 1 2014 In : Political Communication. 31, 2, p. 193-217 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

military conflict
gulf war
First World War

What’s good and bad in political communication research? Normative standards for evaluating media and citizen performance

Althaus, S. L. Jan 1 2012 The SAGE Handbook of Political Communication. SAGE Publications Inc., p. 97-112 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

political communication
communication research