Victor Pickard of Annenberg School to give first spring colloquium

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On Monday, April 6, Assistant Professor Victor Pickard of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania will deliver a talk focused on the post-World War II roots of America’s media system. Join us from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in CMU 126.

“America’s Battle for Media Democracy: Past and Present”

Abstract: How did the American media system become what it is today? Why do American media institutions have so few public interest regulations compared with other democratic nations? How did the system become dominated by a few corporations, and why are structural problems like market failures routinely avoided in media policy discourse? By tracing the answers to many of these questions back to media-policy battles in the 1940s, Pickard explains how this happened and why it matters today. Drawing from extensive archival research, he uncovers the American media system’s historical roots and normative foundations. Pickard charts the rise and fall of a forgotten media reform movement to recover alternatives and paths not taken. As much about the present and future as about the past, he proposes policies for remaking media based on democratic values for the digital age.

Bio: Victor Pickard is an assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously he taught media studies at NYU and the University of Virginia, and he worked on media policy at various institutions in Washington, DC. He served as a Senior Research Fellow at Free Press and the New America Foundation, and also as a Policy Fellow for Congresswoman Diane Watson. He has published over 50 scholarly articles and book chapters on the history and political economy of media institutions and media activism. He frequently speaks to the press about current policy debates and his op-eds have appeared in news outlets like The GuardianThe Huffington Post, and The Atlantic. He is the editor (with Robert McChesney) of Will the Last Reporter Please Turn Out the Lights and the author of America’s Battle for Media Democracy.