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The Technology and Culture Forum is a ministry of the Episcopal Chaplain at MIT, and grows out of the church’s commitment to peace, justice, and upholding human dignity. Our programs challenge participants to consider how their work as scientists, engineers, managers, and citizens furthers these ideals.

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Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times
Thursday, November 9, 2000

Robert McChesney
Robert W. McChesney is Research Professor in the Institute of Communications Research and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 1988 to 1998 he was on Journalism and Mass Communication faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. McChesney earned his Ph.D. in communications at the University of Washington in 1989. His work concentrates on the history and political economy of communication, emphasizing the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies.

McChesney has written or edited seven books, including the award-winning Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy: The Battle for the Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-1935 (Oxford University Press, 1993), Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy (Seven Stories Press, 1997), and, with Edward S. Herman, The Global Media: The New Missionaries of Corporate Capitalism (Cassell, 1997). McChesney's newest books are Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times (University of Illinois Press, 1999) and, with John Nichols, It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories Press, 2000). His books have been translated into five languages. McChesney has also written more than 75 journal articles and book chapters and more than 85 newspaper pieces, magazine articles and book reviews. In the past decade, McChesney has made some 275 conference presentations and visiting guest lectures as well as more than 450 radio and television appearances.

McChesney co-edits the History of Communication Series for the University of Illinois Press, serves on the editorial boards of several journals, and is a research advisor to numerous academic and civic organizations. While teaching at Wisconsin, he was selected as one of the top 100 classroom teachers on the Madison campus. In addition to his academic work, McChesney hosted a biweekly talk radio show, and serves on the Board of Directors for several nonprofit and noncommercial media organizations. In 2000 he was appointed Acting Editor (along with John Bellamy Foster) of Monthly Review, the independent socialist magazine founded by Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman in 1949. Prior to entering graduate school in 1983, McChesney was a sports stringer for UPI, published a weekly newspaper, and in 1979 was the founding publisher of The Rocket, a Seattle-based rock magazine.

Related Links:
Robert McChesney's Website
Institute of Communications Research
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign