Victor Pickard, Ph.D.

Portrait of Victor Pickard in front of a bookcase
Associate Professor of Communication

Victor Pickard is an Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication. His research focuses on the history and political economy of media institutions, media activism, and the politics and normative foundations of media policy. Previously he taught at New York University in the media, culture, and communication department, and worked on media policy in Washington, DC as a Senior Research Fellow at the media reform organization Free Press and the think tank the New America Foundation. He also taught media policy at the University of Virginia and served as a Policy Fellow for Congresswoman Diane Watson.

The author of over 100 book chapters, articles, and essays, Pickard’s work has been published widely in anthologies and scholarly journals, including Critical Studies in Media Communication, Journal of Communication; Media, Culture & Society; Global Media and Communication; International Journal of Communication; Communication, Culture & Critique; New Media and Society; Journal of Communication Inquiry; Newspaper Research Journal; Journal of Internet Law; Information, Communication and Society; International Journal of Communication Law and Policy; CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law and Policy; Political Communication; Journal of Information Policy; Digital Journalism; Journalism Studies; Communication Review; Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies; and Communication Theory.

In 2009, Pickard was the lead author of the first comprehensive report on the American journalism crisis, “Saving the News: Toward a National Journalism Strategy” (published by Free Press as part of the book Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age). In 2017, he co-authored the major report, “Essential Principles for Contemporary Media and Communications Policymaking” (with Robert Picard, published by the Reuters Institute, University of Oxford). He is also co-editor of the books Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights (with Robert McChesney, published by The New Press), The Future of Internet Policy (with Peter Decherney, published by Routledge), and Media Activism in the Digital Age (with Guobin Yang, published by Routledge), and he is the author of the books America’s Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform (published by Cambridge University Press), and the forthcoming Democracy Without Journalism: The Rise of the Misinformation Society (to be published with Oxford University Press) and Net Neutrality: A New Deal for the Digital Age (with David Berman, to be published by Yale University Press). Pickard sits on the editorial board of ten major communication journals and book series, and he has received numerous article and book awards, including the Frank Luther Mott/Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism book award.

Pickard also maintains an active profile as a public scholar. He is a frequent commentator on public radio and he often speaks to the press about media-related issues. He has been interviewed about his research in leading news organizations such as NPR, the Washington Post, USA Today, Columbia Journalism Review, and the New York Times. His op-eds and essays have appeared in venues like the Guardian, the Seattle Times, the Huffington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, US News, Jacobin, The Nation, and The Atlantic. He has delivered lectures and keynote addresses on campuses around the world. He is a board member for Free Press and he frequently collaborates with activists, policymakers, journalists, and community groups focused on media reform. Since 2012, he has co-directed the annual Consortium on Media Policy Studies (COMPASS) program in Washington D.C. With Todd Wolfson, he is the co-director of a new research and activism center, Media, Inequality & Change (MIC).

Selected Publications


Uploaded on Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 9:52am
What does the frame of journalism as a public good mean for where quality journalism can and should come from in the 21st century? Who will produce...
Uploaded on Friday, March 13, 2015 - 12:21pm
Professor Victor Pickard dissuses the genesis of his book, America's Battle for Media Democracy (Cambridge 2014) the the overarching subject of net...
Uploaded on Monday, December 22, 2014 - 9:04am
Victor Pickard, Ph.D., discusses the genesis of his book, "America's Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the...

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Courses Taught

COMM 112: Media Activism Studies

COMM 211: Media Activism Studies

COMM 301: Introduction to the Political Economy of Media

COMM 417: The Politics of Digital Media Policy

COMM 506: Introduction to Media Policy

COMM 701: Introduction to the Political Economy of Media

COMM 867: Media and Social Movements




Victor Pickard’s research focuses on the history and political economy of media institutions, media activism, the future of journalism, and the normative foundations and politics of media policy.

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Pickard's Network

  • Activism, Communication, and Social Justice
  • Critical Journalism Studies
  • Digital Media and Social Networks
  • Global and Comparative Communication
  • Media Institutions and Systems
  • Political Communication
  • Center for Media at Risk
  • Media Activism Research Collective
  • Media, Inequality, and Change Center
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