Robert W. McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2002 he was the co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization – www.freepress.net – and served as its President until April 2008, and remains on its Board of Directors.
From 1988 to 1998 he was on the Journalism and Mass Communication faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While teaching at Wisconsin, he was selected as one of the top 100 classroom teachers on the Madison campus. McChesney earned his Ph.D. in communications at the University of Washington in 1989. His work concentrates on the history and political economy of communication, emphasizing the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies
In 2006 right-winger David Horowitz included McChesney on his list of the “101 most dangerous professors in America.”
Prior to entering graduate school in 1983, McChesney was a sports stringer for UPI, he 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.
Robert W. McChesney co-founded Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund. He is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author or editor of 13 award-winning books, including Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy: The Battle for the Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928–1935; Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy; The Global Media: The New Missionaries of Corporate Capitalism (with Edward S. Herman); Our Media, Not Theirs (with John Nichols); Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times; The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century; Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections and Destroy Democracy (with John Nichols); Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media; and, most recently, The Death and Life of American Journalism (with John Nichols). He hosts a weekly program, Media Matters, on WILL-AM radio, the NPR affiliate in Urbana, Illinois.more » « less