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Paul Matzko

Paul Matzko

Ph.D. Candidate

Office Address: 115 Pond Laboratory
Mailing Address: 108 Weaver Building

University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 769-1184

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. PhD, History, Pennsylvania State University, in progress
  2. MA, History, Temple University, 2010
  3. BA, History and Political Science, Bob Jones University, 2007


I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, studying under the direction of Philip Jenkins and Amy Greenberg. I will defend my dissertation, “Creating the Silent Majority: Conservative Broadcasting, State Censorship, and the Rise and Fall of the New Christian Right in the 1960s,” in September 2016. 

My research explores the role played by conservative broadcasting in the rise of the New Christian Right. By the early 1960s a dozen conservative broadcasters could boast that they aired on more than a hundred stations nationwide. Their listeners skewed female, middle-class, and middle-aged. They formed boycotts, started book clubs, passed out flyers, and knocked on doors for conservative causes and candidates. They were the backbone of the New Christian Right and it was broadcasting that connected these interested, yet scattered individuals with one another.

Broadcasting was not only a means of organization for the New Christian Right but also a site of contention. Conservative broadcasters constantly worried that the federal government would force them to stop broadcasting. During the 1960s those fears came true as a coalition of liberal interest groups and the Kennedy Administration used the Federal Communications Commission to push Right-wing broadcasters off the airwaves. It remains the most successful episode of state censorship since the Second Red Scare, yet it has almost entirely escaped scholarly attention.