Victor Pickard

Victor Pickard

Victor Pickard is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication where he co-directs the Media, Inequality & Change Center. He is the author of the recent book "Democracy Without Journalism?"

Articles by this author

The entrance to the Federal Communications Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Rob Pegoraro/Flickr cc) Views
Friday, February 05, 2021
The Fairness Doctrine Won't Solve Our Problems—but It Can Foster Needed Debate
The long-departed Fairness Doctrine has returned—at least in the minds of many who love or hate it. Arguably the most famous—and most maligned and misunderstood—media policy ever enacted in the United States, its long, strange history is generally not well known. Yet it holds important implications...
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With local and independent news outlets under threat from all sides, write Pickard, a "reformist vision that recognizes news and information as public goods—vital necessities for our collective welfare that the market can't provide—calls for a holistic approach." (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Friday, October 30, 2020
Post-Election We Need a Bold Plan for Journalism
Revitalizing our democracy for what hopefully will be a post-Trump era requires rebuilding core institutions, including news and information systems. Local journalism, which binds communities together and sustains civic health, has been utterly devastated in recent years—a death spiral that has...
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Local news outlets cover stories and offer community-level information—potentially lifesaving during a global pandemic—that national outlets will never provide. (Photo: iStock / Getty Images Plus) Views
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
The Answer to the Media Industry's Woes? Publicly Owned Newspapers.
As the economic fallout from the coronavirus further decimates financially struggling small-town and city newspapers—still Americans’ main source for original local journalism—a desperate search is underway for alternative models. Analysts are looking around the world and back through history for...
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Communities across the U.S. are taking network construction into their own hands. (Photo: T.Dallas/Shutterstock.com) Views
Friday, November 15, 2019
Cities and States Take Up the Battle for an Open Internet and Municipal Broadband
Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon are free to slow down, block or prioritize internet traffic as they wish, without interference by the federal government. That’s the effect of an October ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding a 2017 ruling by the Federal...
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Friday, May 05, 2017
It’s Not Too Late To Save Net Neutrality From a Captured FCC
T he Federal Communications Commission has once again become industry’s servant. Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer and current Trump-appointed FCC chairman, has ushered in a virulent strain of market libertarianism, pledging to use a “ weed whacker ” against common-sense Internet regulations. A...
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Friday, November 04, 2016
Merger Fatigue In A Time Of Media Oligopolies
AT&T and Time Warner’s announced merger warrants serious concern about concentrated media power. The combination of AT&T’s vast telecommunications networks with Time Warner’s massive content production company would spawn one of the world’s largest media conglomerates. AT&T is the...
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Friday, October 21, 2016
Media and Politics in the Age of Trump
Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign will likely preoccupy future historians for years to come. While a number of factors contributed to his rise—including the growing power of social media , a latent racism and nativism within sections of the American public, and economic malaise resulting from Republican...
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Friday, April 01, 2016
When Commercialism Trumps Democracy
“ It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS .” — Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, when discussing Trump’s candidacy Donald Trump’s ascendance has many enablers , but news media deserve special scrutiny. Television news in particular has popularized Trump — and, in doing so, has turned our...
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015
US Represents Cautionary Tale about Media System Dominated by Market Values
Taken as a whole, the American media system is atypical. It is a largely commercial system that is offset by weak public alternatives, it’s lightly regulated by public interest protections, and in many sectors it’s dominated by a few corporations. Other countries’ media systems may face one or two...
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Wednesday, March 04, 2015
How the Internet Was Saved... and Why the Battle Continues
Last week's historic decision by the FCC to pass strong net neutrality protections is both closure to a 13-year-long struggle and an opening salvo for battles to come. In one of the most important public interest decisions in American media policy history, the FCC, in a 3-2 party-line vote,...
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