Victor Pickard, Ph.D.

This is a picture of Victor Pickard at Annenberg School for Communication ASC UPenn
Associate Professor of Communication

Victor Pickard is an Associate Professor of Communication 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 and worked on media policy in Washington, D.C. as a Senior Research Fellow at the media reform organization Free Press and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. 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 has published his research in a wide range of anthologies and scholarly journals, including Critical Studies in Media Communication, Journal of Communication; Media, Culture & Society; International Journal of Communication; Communication, Culture & Critique; New Media and Society; Global Media and Communication; 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; Information, Communication and Society; Journalism Studies; Communication Review; Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies; and Communication Theory.

Pickard is a frequent commentator on public and commercial 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 the Washington Post, USA Today, Columbia Journalism Review, and the New York Times, and 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.

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-edited 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). He is the author of the book America’s Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform (published by Cambridge University Press). Currently he is working on two books, one focused on the politics of net neutrality, and the other focused on the political economy of digital journalism.

Pickard sits on the editorial board of eight major communication journals and is a board member for Free Press. He has received several conference paper and book awards, including the Frank Luther Mott/Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism book award. He has delivered lectures at campuses around the world and frequently collaborates with activist and community groups focused on media reform. Since 2012, he has helped direct the annual Consortium on Media Policy Studies (COMPASS) program in Washington D.C. With Todd Wolfson, he is the co-director of a new policy activism center, Media, Inequality & Change (MIC).


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
  • Working Group on Media Industries and Public Policy
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