Robert W. McChesney

Media Scholar

Robert W. McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2002, he co-founded Free Press, and he served as its president until April 2008. McChesney has written or edited 23 books, and his work has been translated into 30 languages. His two most recent books are Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Away from Democracy and, with John Nichols, the forthcoming Dollarocracy.

In 2008, the Utne Reader listed McChesney among its “50 visionaries who are changing the world.” In 2001, Adbusters named him one of the “nine pioneers of mental environmentalism.” In 2006, right-winger David Horowitz included McChesney on his list of the “101 most dangerous professors in America.”

In 2010, McChesney received the Dallas Smythe Award for his contributions to the study and practice of democratic communication. Along with John Nichols, McChesney was awarded the U.S. Newspaper Guild’s 2010 Herbert Block Freedom Award. In 2011, McChesney was given the “Communication Research as an Agent of Change” lifetime achievement award from the International Communication Association. In 2012, McChesney was awarded the C. Edwin Baker Award for the Advancement of Scholarship on Media, Markets and Democracy.

Before entering graduate school in 1983, McChesney was a sports stringer for UPI, published a weekly newspaper and in 1979 was the founding publisher of the Rocket, a Seattle-based rock magazine. At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in McChesney’s hometown of Cleveland, the founding of the Rocket is credited as the birth of the Seattle rock scene of the late 1980s and 1990s. In his spare time, McChesney writes about professional basketball for a number of websites.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good