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Kenton Bird

Professor Emeritus

Mailing Address

School of Journalism and Mass Media
University of Idaho
MS 3178 875 Perimeter Dr.
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3178

Kenton Bird teaches History of Mass Media as well as Mass Media and Public Opinion.

  • Ph.D., American Studies, Washington State University, 1999
  • M.Ed., Journalism History, University of Wales, 1980
  • B.A., Journalism-News Editorial, University of Idaho, 1976

Until Kenton Bird was appointed as the director of General Education for the University of Idaho, he was director of the School of Journalism and Mass Media from 2003 until 2015. Kenton holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho, where he was editor of the student newspaper, The Argonaut. He attended University College, Cardiff, Wales, on a Rotary fellowship, earning a master’s degree in journalism history, and Washington State University, earning a doctorate in American Studies. His dissertation was a study of the political career of Thomas Foley, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

During his 15-year career as a reporter and editor, Kenton worked for newspapers in Moscow, Lewiston, Sandpoint and Kellogg, and spent a summer working at The Washington Post. In 1989, he was chosen as a congressional fellow of the American Political Science Association, working as a congressional staff member in Washington, D.C. Kenton spent three years on the faculty at Colorado State University before returning to the UI in 1999 as a full-time faculty member.

In 2002, Kenton was one of three UI faculty members chosen to be a Humanities Fellow of the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences. He was on sabbatical in New Zealand during the spring and summer of 2010.

  • Political reporting: Media history
  • Civic journalism
  • American politics: The relationship between public opinion and public policy


  • "Reporting That Matters: A Look at Public Affairs Coverage From a New But Grounded Perspective," textbook, with John Irby, Susan English and David Cuillier, Allyn & Bacon, 2007.

Book Chapter

  • Brandon Rottinghaus, Kenton Bird, Rebecca Self and Travis Ridout. “It’s Better than Being Informed’: College Aged Viewers of the Daily Show and the Effects of Humor on News Seeking, Consumption and Retention.” In Laughing Matters: Humor and American Politics in the Media Age, edited by Jonathan Morris and Jody Baumgartner, Routledge, 2007.

Journal Article

  • "Sarah Palin's a journalist, too," British Journal Review, December 2008, Vol. 19, Issue 4.

  • Community newspapers
  • Civic engagement
  • Public involvement

School of Journalism and Mass Media

Physical Address:
347 Administration Building

Mailing Address:
School of Journalism and Mass Media
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3178
Moscow, ID 83844-3178

Phone: 208-885-6458


Web: Journalism and Mass Media

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