By Bear State Bank

Five to Follow with Dr. Jay Barth

Five to Follow asks Hendrix professor and self-described political junkie to share his five favorite media sites.


Many are familiar with Dr. Jay Barth through his writings for Arkansas Times, his collaboration with Roby Brock for the Talk Business and Politics polls, and his past appearances on AETN’s Arkansas Week.

He has been a member of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., since 1994, and is a five-time recipient of a Hendrix senior class’s Faculty Appreciation Award. His academic work includes research on the politics of the South, state government and politics, LGBT politics, political communication (particularly radio advertising), and the achievement gap in Arkansas. He is the co-author with the late Diane D. Blair of the second edition of Arkansas Politics and Government: Do the People Rule?.   

Gov. Mike Beebe appointed Barth to the Arkansas State Board of Education in 2012. He also serves as Chair of the Board of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, as Chair of the Board of the National Association of State Boards of Education, as Chair-Elect of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, and a member of the boards of the ACLU of Arkansas and Faith Voices Arkansas. He lives in downtown Little Rock with his husband Chuck Cliett.

Describe Yourself: Educator, public servant, someone who cares about making Arkansas a better place, researcher on American politics, big reader, political junkie, and a hiker of the Ozarks.

Give me five of your favorite media sites: 
As Vice-Chair of the Arkansas State Board of Education and Chair of the National Association of State Boards of Education, it’s important for me to stay attuned to what is going on in education policy around the nation. Education Week is really the go-to place to gain that breadth and depth of knowledge about education across the US.
We remain unable to watch the Supreme Court at work, but SCOTUSblog has transformed our knowledge of the important and mysterious institution with its analysis and updates on the work of the Court. As a teacher of constitutional law at Hendrix, SCOTUSblog has become essential reading.
Another area of my teaching and research is LGBTQ politics in the United States. Towleroad is a particularly good aggregator of news on gay politics and culture and, as such, is a daily stop for me so I stay caught up on emerging issues facing the LGBTQ community.
Washington Post’s Daily 202 arrives in my inbox each morning as my day gets underway. It combines a fantastic deep dive on a key topic in American politics with an overview of “must know” news from the previous day (and what one missed overnight).
Even if one disagrees with Max Brantley, the old newspaper skills that he shows in keeping up with stories breaking in Arkansas politics every day is a gift to the state. The Arkansas Times Blog is essential reading to understanding the happenings in Arkansas state government, politics, and culture.

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