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Journalism
8.05.05
Politics and Economy:
Robert McChesney
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Biography

Robert McChesney is considered one of the leading voices on media reform in America today. With scandals eroding public trust in journalism, McChesney is leading a movement to reinvigorate the free press to give citizens access to the truth so they can make informed decisions in their democracy. NOW's David Brancaccio asks McChesney about the root problem with media in America. "People understand their media system isn't natural. It's not a free market system," he says. "It's a result of policies often times made corruptly behind closed doors in Washington. And, once people realized that, then…they didn't have to accept commercial carpet bombing of their children."

Robert McChesney

Robert W. McChesney is the Founder, President and Board Chairman of Free Press, "a national nonpartisan organization working to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates, and to generate policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector."

McChesney is a Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author or editor of eight books, including the award-winning TELECOMMUNICATIONS, MASS MEDIA, AND DEMOCRACY: THE BATTLE FOR THE CONTROL OF U.S. BROADCASTING, 1928-1935, CORPORATE MEDIA AND THE THREAT TO DEMOCRACY, and, with Edward S. Herman, THE GLOBAL MEDIA: THE NEW MISSIONARIES OF CORPORATE CAPITALISM. McChesney's most recent books are multiple award-winning RICH MEDIA, POOR DEMOCRACY: COMMUNICATION POLITICS IN DUBIOUS TIMES and, with John Nichols, OUR MEDIA, NOT THEIRS: THE DEMOCRATIC STRUGGLE AGAINST CORPORATE MEDIA, THE BIG PICTURE: UNDERSTANDING MEDIA THROUGH POLITICAL ECONOMY, and his most recent, THE PROBLEM OF THE MEDIA: U.S. COMMUNICATIONS POLITICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

His work concentrates on the history and political economy of communication, emphasizing the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies. McChesney is presently at work on his ninth and tenth books including written with John Bellamy Foster to be published in 2003 by Monthly Review Press. McChesney also hosts the MEDIA MATTERS weekly radio program every Sunday afternoon on WILL-AM radio.

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