Alex Denison

  • Ph.D. Student
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Political Science
1606 Patterson Office Tower
Research Interests:
Fall 2017 Office Hours: Wednesdays 3-5 or by appointment.

University of Kentucky, PhD, Political Science (expected 2018)
Western Illinois University, MA, Political Science (2014)
University of Missouri, BJ, Broadcast Journalism (2012)


Alex Denison is a doctoral student and instructor working in the areas of judicial politics, law, political behavior, and American institutions. A journalist by training, Alex worked in media for several years as a television reporter and anchor, news editor, radio host and columnist. After leaving the trade, his research now focuses on the media's role in capturing Supreme Court activities and the subsequent effects these portrayals have on public perceptions of the Court. 

Alex's research and dissertation work examines the relationship between the judiciary, the news media, and the general public, analyzing how Supreme Court actions and professional biases affect news coverage, and consequently, public attitudes toward the institution. Utilizing unique datasets of news articles covering decisions and the recent confirmation hearing, Alex identifies trends in coverage that question both the media's ability to provide responsible coverage of the institution, as well as ways in which justices and political actors can affect coverage.

Recent research projects include co-authored studies (with UK professors Dr. Justin Wedeking and Dr. Michael Zilis) into how Supreme Court justices' negative rhetoric in opinion content shapes news coverage of decisions. Additionally, Alex's current working papers include an investigation into how judicial behavior and news bias contribute to politicized portrayals of the Supreme Court, whether positive imagery outweighs critical coverage, and how race affects disparate perceptions of political freedom in the U.S. 

Alex teaches courses at the University of Kentucky in both American politics and judicial politics. In Fall 2017, he is an instructor for PS 360: Introduction to Law and the Courts. 

Selected Publications: 

Zilis, Michael, Alexander Denison, and Justin Wedeking. 2017. “Hitting the Bullseye in Supreme Court Coverage: News Quality in the Court’s 2014 Term.” Elon Law Review IX(2):489-523.

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