David Conrad, Ph.D.

David Conrad is a working journalist, journalism educator and researcher, and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. His dissertation, Misguided Benevolence: How 'Moments of Need' Came to Motivate American Journalism, takes a critical look at the historical and present-day intersection of nonprofits and news making. David's research interests are based in exploring how journalism shapes our understanding of global events and stories of immigration, poverty, crisis, and suffering; how it shapes the contexts upon which news audiences and other institutions are oriented to ‘solve’ them; and what unintended consequences it is having on the people it aims to help and the world it intends to make better.  

A practicing journalist, Conrad has written or produced for the PRI's The World, Columbia Journalism ReviewForeign PolicyInternational New York Times, Reuters, San Francisco Chronicle, Radiolab, and the Globe & Mail. His academic research has been published by the journals Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, Journalism Studies, Global Media and Communication, and the International Journal of Communication. He most recently worked as a producer for WNYC's On the Media, and his work has received support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Knight Foundation, and the Google Journalism Fellowship program.

David has also worked as a media/communication consultant for UNICEF's Communication and Development section and has a special interest in community media, participatory communication, and the field of communication for development. Other work has specifically explored the tensions between old and new forms of media and the implications that non-local donor ownership has on the identity and sustainability of grassroots media.

David has an International Affairs M.A. from Ohio University (focused in Communication and Development Studies), and a B.A. in Journalism. 

David Conrad is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication.

Conrad's Network

  • Critical Journalism Studies
  • Culture and Communication
  • Media Institutions and Systems
  • Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication
  • Center for Media at Risk
  • Working Group on Media Industries and Public Policy