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 Robert Waterman McChesney
(1952-12-22) December 22, 1952 (age 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 (born December 22, 1952) is an American professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign as the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication.[1] He specializes in the history and political economy of communication, and the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies. He co-founded Free Press,[2] a national media reform organization. From 2002–12, he hosted “Media Matters”[3] weekly radio program every Sunday afternoon on WILL-AM radio.

Background and education[edit]

McChesney was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Samuel Parker McChesney, an advertising salesman for This Week Magazine, and Edna Margaret "Meg" (née McCorkle) McChesney, a nurse. He attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where he studied history and political economy. 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]

McChesney posits that "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.[4]


  • Rich Media, Poor Democracy: communication Politics in Dubious Times, 2000.
  • Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media. New York: The New Press, 2007.
  • The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas, New York: Monthly Review Press, 2008.
  • The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again (with John Nichols). New York: Nation Books, 2010.
  • The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China (with John B. Foster). New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012.
  • Dollarocracy: How the Money-and-Media-Election Complex is Destroying America. (with John Nichols). New York: Nation Books, 2013.
  • Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. New York: The New Press, 2013.
  • Blowing the Roof off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2014. Excerpt

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robert W. McChesney | Department of Communication | University of Illinois
  2. ^ Free Press website,; accessed April 13, 2015.
  3. ^ "Media Matters | Illinois Public Media". Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ Lendman, Stephen (July 2, 2008). "Robert McChesney's The Political Economy of Media (Part I)". Dissident Voice. 

External links[edit]