The question of impact looms over media policy scholarship. Despite engaging similar issues, media policy makers and communication scholars often diverge in defining the scope of the problems they address, with the former group largely guided by economic and legal analysis and influenced by partisan ideologies and political obligations. In the introductory essay for this Special Section, the authors highlight the value of communication scholars’ contributions to policy debates, particularly given their broader analytical frame and critical focus. Against this backdrop, they situate the Consortium on Media Policy Studies (COMPASS) program, which is designed to immerse students of communication policy in the policy-making processes to inform their research. As the contributions to this Special Section illustrate, this nexus of communication scholarship and policy-making practice yields important insights and interventions, shedding light on the most pressing policy issues we face today.
Published in Volume 11, pages 4697-4701