Mel Atkinson is assistant professor of political science at UNC Charlotte. Her research focuses on the policymaking process with an emphasis on the roles public opinion, issue framing, and media coverage play in shaping policy debate. Dr. Atkinson also studies the roles gender and race play in shaping legislative agendas in the United States and Europe.
Dr. Atkinson teaches an introductory American politics course and upper-level courses on women and politics, media and politics, and issue framing.
Prior to her academic career, Dr. Atkinson worked as a writer for a K Street communications firm and as a campaign manager. She now studies the impact of the slogans and sound bites she once helped to create.
- Atkinson, Mary Layton. 2017. Combative Politics: The Media and Public Perceptions of Lawmaking. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Atkinson, Mary Layton. “Gender and Policy Agendas in the Post-War House.” Policy Studies Journal. doi:
- Atkinson, Mary Layton. 2018. “Real News, Fake News: For Lawmakers, No News is Good News.” Extensions: A Journal of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center. Winter, 2018.
- Atkinson, Mary Layton, John Lovett and Frank R. Baumgartner. 2014. “Measuring The Media Agenda,” Political Communication, 31(2): 355-380.