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Does mainstream media influence better policy decisions? When looking at major trends and societal shifts that have occurred in the United States, most laws are far behind the changing of popular sentiment. With immigration and religion continuing to be controversial campaign issues for the 2016 presidential elections, how can popular media help shape public opinions and influence sound policy-making?

An internationally acclaimed Iranian-American author and scholar of religions, UCR Professor Reza Aslan is one of the most influential voices among American media and foreign policy experts. A contributing editor at the Daily Beast, a regular guest on “The Daily Show,” and author of the best-selling book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” Aslan is breaking barriers through education, art, stories and even television. Harnessing the power of pop culture media, Aslan co-founded BoomGen Studios to transform perceptions of the Middle East. He will host CNN’s “Believer,” a spiritual adventure series, and has collaborated with another UCR professor on a biblical drama for the ABC network titled “Of Kings and Prophets.”


Reza Aslan

Professor, Creative Writing College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Living the Promise: 2015 Research Impacts  

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