WMP Reach

Political Advertising The Wesleyan Media Project tracks and analyzes all broadcast ads aired by federal and state election candidates in every media market in the country.
Health Media Research The WMP team and collaborators investigate how media, including ads and news, influence opinions and attitudes in a variety of health-policy areas including the Affordable Care Act.



WMP at Wesleyan

Transparency and government responsiveness depend critically on real-time publicly available information disclosing efforts to influence elections.

Since the 2010 election cycle, we have been providing real-time information on the extent of corporate and union spending in federal election campaigns across the country, who specifically is doing that spending and which candidates are benefiting.

Our goals are to develop a definitive database that tracks all advertising by source (corporation, union, interest group, party, or candidate), and to enhance the ability of scholars, citizens, and journalists to hold government accountable by providing public information on how special interests are attempting to influence American democracy in general and political campaigns in particular.

The Wesleyan Media Project was established in 2010 to track advertising in federal elections, and it is a successor to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, which tracked political advertising between 1998 and 2008.  Our real-time tracking is made possible this year through the generous support of The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Wesleyan University.

Project background and data collection

Our Team

  • Laura Baum

    Laura Baum joined the Wesleyan Media Project in September 2012...

  • Erika Franklin Fowler

    Erika Franklin Fowler (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison) is...

  • Michael M. Franz

    Michael Franz (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison) is associate...

  • Travis Ridout

    Travis Ridout (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison) is the...