|Robert W. McChesney|
McChesney in 2005
|Born||Robert Waterman McChesney
December 22, 1952
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Occupation||Professor, author, activist, journalist|
|Employer||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
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. 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, a national media reform organization. From 2002-12, he hosted "Media Matters" weekly radio program every Sunday afternoon on WILL-AM radio.
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.
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.
McChesney's article 'Farewell To Journalism' emphasizes that the current US media system is deteriorating, and that this freefall threatens the democratic system itself. Within the article he highlights what scholars believe to be the key characteristics of healthy journalism. "It is necessary...that the media system as a whole makes such journalism a realistic expectation for the citizenry."