MacArthur Fellows Program

Michael S. Schudson

Sociologist | Class of 1990

La Jolla, California
44 at time of award
Area of Focus

Michael Schudson, a sociologist, investigates the role of the mass media in public life in the United States.

Schudson is an interpreter of public culture and of collective or civic memory. His book, Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers (1978), examines the evolution of the concept of objectivity in the reporting of news in the U.S. over the past 150 years; he updates and extends this work in The Power of News (1995). Schudson is also the author of Advertising, the Uneasy Persuasion: Its Dubious Impact on American Society (1984), Watergate in American Memory: How We Remember, Forget, and Reconstruct the Past (1992), The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life (1998), and The Sociology of News (2003). He continues to explore the changing nature of the U.S. news media and the shifting landscape for political and civic engagement, with a special focus on the roles of investigation, revelation, disclosure, and accountability in American public life since 1960.

Schudson has been a professor of communication and an adjunct professor of sociology at the University of California, San Diego, since 1980.

Schudson received a B.A. (1969) from Swarthmore College, and an M.A. (1970) and Ph.D. (1976) from Harvard University.

Recent News

In 2009, Michael Schudson joined the faculty of Columbia University, where he is currently a professor in the School of Journalism and an adjunct professor of sociology. He is the author of Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press (Polity Press, 2008); a report on the future of news, “The Reconstruction of American Journalism” (2009, co-authored with Leonard Downie Jr.); and a second edition of The Sociology of News (W. W. Norton, 2011). He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Groningen in 2014.

Updated July 2015

News About This Fellow
February 23, 2017
"Here’s What Non-Fake News Looks Like"
Columbia Journalism Review
Michael S. Schudson , 1990 MacArthur Fellow
View all news
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