Ben Bagdikian has worked at high levels in the profession of journalism and the media in general. At the same time, he has researched and written critiques of the mass media. Having been both an insider and outside observer has resulted in rare insights into the world of the media, knowledge of those who control that world, and how they influence our society.
He was a member of a group that won a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting, has been a Washington Bureau Chief, a foreign correspondent who has covered a war and a revolution, an Assistant Managing Editor for National News of The Washington Post (for which he provided The Pentagon Papers), and later was ombudsman for that newspaper.
Bagdikian’s career includes years as National Correspondent for The Columbia Journalism Review, a onetime commentator for CBS TV, and is the former Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.
Among his activities in media research and civic concern with the media have been as an invited witness before committees of the United States House and Senate in their queries into news media problems, a year as president of the Lowell Mellett Fund for a Free and Responsible Press, and a member of the Committee on Mass Communication and Political Behavior of the Social Science Research Council.
He has served on the screening panel of the National Endowment for the Humanities, was Project Director of the Markle Foundation’s Newspaper Survival Study, board member of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Steering Committee of the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, a founding member of the Board of Directors of The Data Center, and a member of the American Library Association Commission on Freedom and Equality of Access to Information.
He has contributed articles to Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The Progressive, New York Times Sunday Magazine, The London Times, and other national and international publications.
His six books include In the Midst of Plenty: The Poor in America; The Information Machines; The Effete Conspiracy and Other Crimes by the Press; Caged: Eight Prisoners and The Keepers; Double Vision: Reflections on My Heritage, Life, and Profession; The Media Monopoly, and now in its newly written and revised 7th Edition entitled, The New Media Monopoly.
Among Bagdikian’s awards have been The Peabody Award (broadcasting’s “Pulitzer”) for research and critiques of broadcast commentary; a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship; a Citation of Merit as “Journalism’s Most Perceptive Critic,” awarded by the American Society of Journalism School Administrators; and the James Madison Award, by the American Library Association Coalition on Government Information. His honorary degrees are from Brown University, The University of Rhode Island, and his alma mater, Clark University. He has also received The Berkeley Citation, the equivalent of honorary degrees given at the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a faculty member and Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism. He is the recipient of the James Madison Award of the American Library Association Coalition on Government Information.