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Communication Professor Presents New Research on 'Flak' in London

Brian M. Goss, Ph.D., communication program director at SLU-Madrid, presented his research on the intensification of mediated “flak” (political harassment) at the “World in Flux” conference at King’s College in London.

Titled “Raising the Transaction Costs: Introducing a Theory of Flak for a New Media Era,” Goss's paper channels his enduring interest in news media while addressing the convulsions of the new media environment. He differentiates flak from scandal in that it presents indifference to determining what is true. While scandal is resolved through ascertaining what did or did not happen, under a flak regime, open-ended suspicion and accusation are the main currency.

“The conference was staged in a very appealing space at King’s College, a short walk uphill from the River Thames,” Goss reflected. “I was also able to convey new concepts on this topic that I have recently developed around sub-types of political harassment… to an audience for the first time.”

The research Goss presented at the conference forms part of a larger body of work that he is developing into a book. Currently under contract with Peter Lang Publishing, Goss’s book project promises to be the first academic volume devoted to flak as a political strategy of harassment.