Benjamin J Toff

Assistant Professor

Accepting PhD Students


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Personal profile

Personal profile

Benjamin Toff is an assistant professor at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Political Psychology and the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. He studies media audiences and political engagement, public opinion, and changing journalistic practices.

He is currently on partial leave while leading a collaborative, multi-country research project studying trust in news while serving as a Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. He is also currently at work on two book projects. One is an in-depth examination of “news avoidance” and infrequent news use among audiences in the UK, Spain, and the US. The second book explores the changing role played by opinion polls in news coverage of American politics. This work extends research conducted as part of his doctoral dissertation, which received the American Political Science Association’s E.E. Schattschneider Award for best doctoral dissertation in the field of American government.

His work has been published in the Journal of Communication, Public Opinion Quarterly, Perspectives on Politics, Political Communication, the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Journalism, Journalism Studies, and Digital Journalism. He received his PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016 and a BA in social studies from Harvard in 2005. Prior to entering academia, he worked as a journalist and researcher at The New York Times.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Wisconsin

Award Date: May 14 2016

BA, Harvard University

Award Date: Jun 3 2005

External Positions

Senior Research Fellow, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Jul 1 2020 → …

Research Associate, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Aug 1 2017Jun 30 2020

Research Fellow, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Aug 1 2016Jul 31 2017

Research Interest Keywords

  • journalism studies
  • political communication
  • public opinion
  • news audiences
  • political psychology


The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.
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