Victor Pickard, Ph.D.

Portrait of Victor Pickard in front of a bookcase
Professor of Media Policy and Political Economy
Co-Director, Media, Inequality & Change Center

Victor Pickard is a Professor of Media Policy and Political Economy at the Annenberg School for Communication. His research focuses on the history of media institutions, media activism, and the politics and normative foundations of journalism and media policy. Previously he taught at NYU and the University of Virginia and has held visiting appointments at Cornell, Goldsmiths, and LSE. He also worked on media policy in Washington, D.C. as a Senior Research Fellow at the media reform organization Free Press and the think tank New America, and as a Policy Fellow for Congresswoman Diane Watson.

Pickard has published over 100 book chapters, articles, and essays in leading scholarly journals and anthologies. He also has written or edited six books, including, most recently, Democracy Without Journalism?: Confronting the Misinformation Society (Oxford University Press). Previous books include Net Neutrality: A New Deal for the Digital Age (with David Berman, Yale University Press) and America’s Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform (Cambridge University Press). He is also co-editor of the books Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights (with Robert McChesney, The New Press), The Future of Internet Policy (with Peter Decherney, Routledge), and Media Activism in the Digital Age (with Guobin Yang, Routledge).

Pickard has also co-authored three major reports. In 2009, he 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). In 2018, he co-authored the report “The Media Democracy Agenda: The Strategy and Legacy of FCC Commissioner Michael Copps” (with Pawel Popiel, published by the Benton Foundation).

Pickard sits on the editorial board of 12 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 and the Harry W. Stonecipher Award for Distinguished Research on Media Law and Policy.

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 PostUSA TodayColumbia Journalism Review, and the New York Times. His op-eds and essays have appeared in venues like the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Seattle Times, the Huffington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Harvard Business ReviewJacobinThe 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 Sarah J. Jackson and Todd Wolfson, he co-directs the Media, Inequality & Change (MIC) Center.

Selected Publications


Uploaded on Monday, March 23, 2020 - 11:31am
In his new book, Professor Victor Pickard, who is the co-director of the Media, Inequality & Change Center, unpacks the decline in public service...
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, and the politics and normative foundations of media policy. His work is particularly concerned about the future of journalism and the role of media in a democratic society.
Pronouns: he/him

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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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