Free Press Advocate Robert W. McChesney '76 Speaks at Evergreen February 25

February 19, 2009

Speaker: Robert W. McChesney '76, Ph.D. - Author, Activist, Educator Gutgsell Endowed Professor, Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Wednesday, February 25
7 p.m.
The Evergreen State College, Lecture Hall 1
No Charge

Donations to The Evergreen State College Annual Fund, supporting student scholarships, are gratefully accepted.

If a person can be judged by the lists in which he appears, Robert McChesney is shaking things up in America. For Evergreen alumni, he is a greener to be proud of and a credit to his alma mater:

  • 2008 - Utne Reader's "50 visionaries who are changing the world"
  • 2006 right-winger David Horowitz's "101 most dangerous professors in America"
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison's top 100 classroom teachers
  • 2001 Adbusters Magazine's "Nine Pioneers of Mental Environmentalism.

This event presented by the academic program "Political Economy of the Media: U.S. Historical & Contemporary Realities," with support from "Beyond the News: Media, Theory and Global History," the Media Artist Studio, the Office of Alumni Relations and the Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship.

Official Biography

Robert W. McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2008 the Utne Reader listed McChesney among their "50 visionaries who are changing the world."

In 2002 he was the co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization and served as its President until April 2008, when he stepped down to devote more time to other interests.

McChesney also hosts the "Media Matters" weekly radio program every Sunday afternoon on NPR-affiliate WILL-AM radio -; it is the top-rated program in its time slot in the Champaign-Urbana area.

His work concentrates on the history and political economy of communication, emphasizing the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies. McChesney has written or edited seventeen books. McChesney's most recent book is The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas (Monthly Review Press); this is the companion volume to Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media (New Press, 2007).

In 2008, his 1999 book Rich Media, Poor Democracy was awarded the ICA Fellows Book Award, which recognizes books that "have made a substantial contribution to the scholarship of the communication field, as well as the broader rubric of the social sciences, and have stood some test of time." McChesney's work has been translated into eighteen languages.

In 2001 Adbusters Magazine 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." While teaching at Wisconsin, he was selected as one of the top 100 classroom teachers on the Madison campus.

In addition to his academic work, McChesney serves on the Board of Directors for several nonprofit and noncommercial media organizations. From 2000 to 2004 he served as co-editor of Monthly Review - - the independent socialist magazine founded by Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman in 1949. 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 on professional basketball for a number of websites.