Professor Joseph Turow receives National Communication Association's Distinguished Scholar Award


Joseph Turow, Ph.D., the Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication, has been elected to the position of NCA Distinguished Scholar by the National Communication Association (NCA). The Distinguished Scholar award recognizes and rewards a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication.

Created in 1991, recipients of this award are individuals selected to showcase the Communication profession.

Excerpts from Professor Turow’s nomination read:

“Joseph Turow is a wide-ranging, original, provocative scholar. His work engages questions that are core to the study of institutions of communication and their timeliness is indicative of his insight into the future of media institutions.

“A sampling of his comments from reviewers of a single work suggests the breadth and impact of his scholarship. Publishers Weekly noted of his book, Niche Envy: ‘this fascinating and disturbing study considers the new database marketing, with which corporations delve deeply into customers’ personal histories and interests using digital surveillance technology.’ The Chronicle of Higher Education described Niche Envy as ‘a lucid and unnerving read on the growing uses of database marketing.’ Information, Communication, and Society summarized my case for Turow’s importance as a scholar when he wrote that Turow’s major strength ‘is his critical analysis of the societal and ethical implications of the intrusion into privacy of consumers and the quiet undermining of trust.’

“As a public intellectual, Professor Turow is among a handful of scholars to whom The New York Times regularly turns to for informed commentary on media systems. For example, in December 2009 The New York Times quoted the views he expressed at the Federal Trade Commission’s roundtable on privacy. In September 2009, the Times devoted a full article to his report on the impact of tailored advertising. In other media venues he has been quoted on cell phone privacy, de-capitalizing the word ‘internet,’ on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, on target marketing, and on media and social segmentation.”

Professor Turow is the third member of the Annenberg faculty to be honored with this distinction. The others are Kathleen Hall Jamieson in 1992 and Joseph N. Cappella in 2005.