Joseph Turow, Ph.D.

Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication. Professor Turow is an elected Fellow of the International Communication Association and was presented with a Distinguished Scholar Award by the National Communication Association. A 2005 New York Times Magazine article referred to Turow as “probably the reigning academic expert on media fragmentation.” In 2012, the TRUSTe internet privacy-management organization designated him a "privacy pioneer" for his research and writing on marketing and digital-privacy.

He has authored nine books, edited five, and written more than 150 articles on mass media industries. His most recent books are Media Today: Mass Communication in a Converging World (Routledge, 2014) and The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your World (Yale, 2012). In 2010 the University of Michigan Press published Playing Doctor: Television, Storytelling, and Medical Power, a history of prime time TV and the sociopolitics of medicine, and in 2013 it won the McGovern Health Communication Award from the University Of Texas College Of Communication. Other books reflecting current interests are Niche Envy: Marketing Discrimination in the Digital Age (MIT Press, 2006), Breaking Up America: Advertisers and the New Media World (University of Chicago Press, 1997; paperback, 1999; Chinese edition 2004); and The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age (edited with Lokman Tsui, University of Michigan Press, 2008). 

Turow’s continuing national surveys of the American public on issues relating to marketing, new media, and society have received a great deal of attention in the popular press, as well as in the research community. He has written about media and advertising for the popular press, including American Demographics magazine, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Los Angeles Times. His research has received financial support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Federal Communications Commission, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

Turow was awarded a Lady Astor Lectureship by Oxford University. He has received several conference paper and book awards and has lectured widely. He was invited to give the McGovern Lecture at the University of Texas College of Communication, the Pockrass Distinguished Lecture at Penn State University, and the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture at Louisiana State University. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Poetics, and Media Industries. He also has served as the elected chair of the Mass Communication Division of the International Communication Association. 

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Uploaded on Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 1:52pm
Professor Joseph Turow talks about his research into Americans opinions about tailored political advertisements.
Uploaded on Friday, May 30, 2014 - 3:37pm
Professor Joseph Turow discusses his book, Playing Doctor.
Uploaded on Friday, May 30, 2014 - 3:35pm
Professor Joseph Turow discusses the research behind his book, The Daily You, in an interview with Knowledge@Wharton.

Related News

  • Grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in support of The Hyperlinked Society conference of June 2006.
  • Grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create a multi-media essay on CD-ROM aimed at educating medical students about how prime time television’s images of health care might influence their patients, September 2005-July 2006 and July 2003-March 2004; distributed in Summers 2003, 2004, and 2005; 2nd edition distributed Summer 2006.
  • Best faculty paper award (with co-author Rivka Ribak), International Communication Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, presented at August 2002 conference.
  • Major grant from Kaiser Family Foundation to study health policy issues on TV hospital programs, 2002.
  • Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecturer, Louisiana State University, April 2000.
  • Commendation from the Provost’s Office for being named as the teacher of the “best doctoral course at Penn” by at least one of Penn’s Ph.D. graduates of 1999.
  • Awarded major grants from the Annenberg Public Policy Center for a multi-faceted study of the family and the Internet, 1998-2000.
  • With Professors Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph Cappella, awarded a major grant from the Ford Foundation for research on the content, consequences, and print-media coverage of political talk radio, 1996.
  • Appointed to the National Endowment for Children’s Educational Television of the US Department of Commerce, 1995-1997.
  • Awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, Senior Division, 1994.
  • Elected to chair the Mass Communication Division of the International Communication Association, 1993-1997.
  • Invited to teach a "master's session" at the 1991 annual International Communication Association Conference.
  • Appointed as a Commonwealth Speaker for 1991 by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.
  • Awarded competitively selected research grant from the University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation, 1988-1989
  • Appointed as a Commonwealth Speaker for 1989 by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.
  • Appointed to the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend Advisory Committee, 1987.
  • Awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, Senior Division, 1986.
  • Top Three Mass Communication Division Paper, Mass Communication, 1977 and 1984 Speech Communication Association Conferences.
  • Top Ten Mass Communication Division Paper, 1981, 1983, and 1984 International Communication Association Conferences.
  • Authored a book designated "Book of the Month" by Communication Booknotes, May 1984.
  • Recipient of the Russel Nye Award of the Popular Culture Association for the best article in the Journal of Popular Culture, 1982-83.
  • Departmental Best Teaching Award, 1981 and 1983.
  • Dissertation Research Scholarship, 1975-1976.
  • University (work-free) fellowship, 1974-1975.
  • Full tuition scholarship, throughout graduate career.
  • Research and Teaching Assistantships, 1972-1974.
  • Dean's List With Distinction.
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1971.

Professor Turow's research focuses on digital cultural industries, especially at the intersection of the internet, marketing, and society, as well as studies on database marketing, media and privacy, digital out-of-home media, the process of innovation in the mass media, and the relationship between media and the medical system.

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Turow's Network

  • Culture and Communication
  • Digital Media and Social Networks
  • Media Institutions and Systems
  • Center for Global Communication Studies
  • Working Group on Media Industries and Public Policy