‘MTSU On the Record’ follows politically minded al...

‘MTSU On the Record’ follows politically minded alumnus to nation’s capital

An MTSU alumnus who’s shifted from life as a musician in Nashville to that of a political science scholar in Washington, D.C., was the guest on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Ben Burnley, MTSU alumnus, Master of Science in Media and Communication, May 2020

Ben Burnley

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Ben Burnley of Nashville first aired June 9 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and You can listen to their conversation above.

Burnley, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and received his master’s degree in media and communication last month from MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, has been accepted at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

He plans to pursue a second master’s degree at Georgetown this fall, this time in public policy, as well as a concurrent doctoral degree in American politics.

Burnley took a rather circuitous route to the nation’s capital. He played in a Nashville-based band and toured the country for a while before national events began to change his life.

“When I finished up at Florida State (in 2014), I actually moved to Nashville with the express wish to play music,” Burnley said. “I really plugged into the 2016 election and was really trying to understand what was going on, both from a policy standpoint and in the media.”

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web His new awareness led him to enroll in MTSU’s Media and Communication Master’s Program, where his master’s degree research included his 2019 Scholars Week poster, “News Feeds and Salience: How Social Media Use Feeds News Awareness.”

In the presentation, Burnley concluded that Facebook users have a considerably smaller scope of news awareness, while Twitter users are more in touch with national and international news.

Burnley credits the faculty of the College of Media and Entertainment for encouraging his new passion for political communication, especially associate professors Jason Reineke and Ken Blake

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.