Robert W. McChesney

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This article is about the media studies scholar. For other uses, see Robert McChesney.
Robert W. McChesney
Bob McChesney
Born 1952 (age 62–63)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Alma mater
Occupation Professor, author, activist, journalist
Employer University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Known for
Spouse(s) Inger Stole

Robert Waterman McChesney, PhD (born 1952) is an American professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign as the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication. He specializes in the history and political economy of communication, and the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies. He is the co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization. From 2002–2012 McChesney hosted the “Media Matters”[1] weekly radio program every Sunday afternoon on WILL-AM radio.

Background and education[edit]

McChesney was born December 22, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents were Samuel Parker McChesney, an advertising salesman for This Week Magazine, and Edna Margaret "Meg" McChesney (née McCorkle), a nurse. He attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where he studied history and political economy. He is a friend of John Bellamy Foster. After college, he worked as a sports stringer for United Press International (UPI), published a weekly newspaper, and in 1979 was the founding publisher of The Rocket, a Seattle-based rock magazine which chronicled the birth of the Seattle rock scene of the late 1980s and 1990s.


American media[edit]

He says "deregulated media" is a misnomer, that the media are a government sanctioned oligopoly, owned by a few highly profitable corporate entities. They have legislative influence and control news coverage, to distort public understanding of media issues.[2] McChesney says this began with the control of radio media. He views the Communications Act of 1934 as allowing monopolistic rights to broadcasters who had shown the greatest propensity for profit. Subsequent to this act were the provisions of the Fairness Doctrine, which had provisions for public interest broadcasting due to the scarcity of the broadcasting resource. These restrictions were later overturned in the 1980s under the banner of "deregulation."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Menu. "Media Matters | Illinois Public Media". Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ Lendman, Stephen (July 2, 2008). "Robert McChesney's The Political Economy of Media (Part I)". Dissident Voice. 

External links[edit]