Dr Benjamin Toff is a Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. He is working on a qualitative and mixed-methods research project examining the behaviour of “news avoidance” among citizens in the UK and internationally. The project stems from findings in previous Digital News Reports showing that significant segments of the public say they use news less frequently than once a month. The project seeks to better understand actual levels of news exposure among avoiders as well as factors associated with avoidance including trust in media, civic engagement levels and work/life routines.
Dr Toff comes to the Reuters Institute from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, where he completed a doctorate in Political Science with a minor in Journalism and Mass Communication. His broader research interests include public opinion, political communication, changing media, and journalism studies, and he is in the process of writing a book based on his dissertation, which focused on the use of public opinion surveys in news coverage of American politics. In 2017, he will be joining the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication as an Assistant Professor in Journalism Studies.
Prior to his academic career, Dr Toff worked as a professional journalist, mostly as a researcher at the New York Times from 2005-2011. In addition to his doctorate, he holds a master’s degree from Wisconsin in Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies from Harvard University.