Mark Hannah

Mark Hannah is a political correspondent for Mediashift and a doctoral student at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. Mark's political career began on the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign, where he worked as a member of the national advance staff. He's more recently done advance work for the Obama-Biden campaign, the Presidential Inaugural Committee and the White House. In the "off-season" (i.e., in between campaigns) he worked in the PR agency world and conducted sensitive public affairs campaigns for well-known multinational corporations, major industry organizations and influential non-profits. He serves on the board of directors of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and was a research fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received a master's degree from Columbia University. His personal website is www.mark-hannah.com, and he can be reached at markphannah[at]gmail.com. Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarksTerritory.

by Mark Hannah

Despite the nonstop coverage of the ongoing Republican primary battle on cable news and talk radio programs, the American voter remains notoriously ill-informed. While people may be increasing their attention to the high-profile horse race of presidential politics this year, it’s clear that most voters’ knowledge of local politics has sharply declined. This is doubtless [...] more »

by Mark Hannah

Many of you are, like me, among the proverbial “99%” when it comes to economics and income. But if you regularly learn about the 2012 campaign from those you follow on Twitter, as I do, you’re in an elite class of a different sort. A new report out from the The Pew Research Center for [...] more »

by Mark Hannah

A new generation of young women has begun to make their mark online, combining entrepreneurial energy with the hardwired digital fluency that typifies the so-called digital natives. Here are two stories of such women, both 26 years old, who jettisoned their office jobs to create online media outlets designed for young women like them. For [...] more »

by Mark Hannah

Business content on MediaShift is sponsored by the weekend MA in Public Communication at American University. Designed for working professionals, the program is suited to career changers and public relations or social marketing professionals seeking career advancement. Learn more here. Trish Ginter is an independent fashion designer who believes in the beauty of handmade garments. [...] more »

by Mark Hannah

In my first post on MediaShift, I laid out how the digital media revolution was compelling organizations to become more transparent in their communication with the public. While vigorous in my promotion of radical transparency, I acknowledged “practical limits,” such as the revelation of competitive secrets or legally sensitive information. In the two years since [...] more »

by Mark Hannah

For four days last month, Bill Clinton convened an elite group of heads of state, business leaders and celebrity activists for the annual meeting of his Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Each year CGI picks a theme, and the focus of this year’s gathering was the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries. The impact [...] more »

by Mark Hannah

Elizabeth Thoman, the godmother of the “media literacy” movement recently told me that the Internet has endowed her field with a sense of salience, if not urgency. Elizabeth Thoman “As long as media literacy education was about television, it was perceived to be fluff,” she said. “But when the Internet came along, kids didn’t know [...] more »

by Mark Hannah

Are high profile public officials using Twitter as a noble tool to bypass the proverbial “mainstream media filter” and communicate directly with constituencies? Or do they just see it as yet one more wall in the online echo chamber, something merely to influence and/or amplify mainstream media stories? The answer probably lies somewhere in between [...] more »

by Mark Hannah

There’s been much ado about Twitter’s role in the political protests in Iran, and for good reason. With the Iranian government expelling foreign journalists, outlets like CNN scrambled to uncover sources where they could. They found these sources among the din of unverifiable messages surfacing on Twitter. It’s been fun reading mainstream media accounts of [...] more »

by Mark Hannah

On May 7, I published an introduction to issue advocacy on the Internet, which looked at three opportunities and three challenges to communicators who hope to take their advocacy campaign online. Online content, I pointed out, is interactive (as opposed to merely informational), syndicatable (as opposed to confined or static) and permanent (as opposed to [...] more »