Annenberg School for Communication

Founded in 1959 through the generosity and vision of diplomat and philanthropist Walter Annenberg, The Annenberg School for Communication stands at the forefront of education, research, and policy studies on the processes, nature, and consequences of existing and emerging media. The School offers students a firm grounding in a wide range of approaches to the study of communication and its methods, drawn from both the humanities and the social sciences. Home to a wide range of centers and projects, including the Annenberg Public Policy Center, the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, the Center for Global Communication Studies, the Scholars Program in Culture & Communication, the Institute for Public Service, and others, research at Annenberg encompasses political communication, global communication, health communication, visual communication, cultural studies, children and media, as well as new media and information technologies, with interests extending beyond the classroom. For decades, research conducted by faculty and students at the Annenberg School has influenced public discussion of the role of the media in shaping the perceptions of the viewing public.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 60
  • Publication
    Media Transitions in the Rear-View Mirror: Some Reflections
    (2009-12-01) Price, Monroe
    This essay explores the development of media systems in Central and Eastern Europe in the post-Soviet period, including the influence of social and political factors, outside media assistance, and the drive toward privatization and public service broadcasting, in an effort to understand what the experience teaches about democracy promotion, about the efficacy of various forms of media intervention, and about the utility of various forms of incentives and pressures in setting agendas and effecting political change. Despite differing historical, social, and political traditions and different forms of and reactions to media assistance efforts, factors, both exogenous (“Americanization” and “strategic communication”) and endogenous (“modernization,” secularization and commercialization), ultimately contributed to a homogenization of systems, rendering less relevant the particular distinctions among countries.
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    Public Television and Pluralistic Ideals
    (2008-01-01) Goodman, Ellen P; Price, Monroe
    Achieving pubilc service pluralism in the Unites States context is so idiosyncratic, so much a product of particular historic and governmental developments, that it is diffi cult to draw lessons that are useful for the United Kingdom. The differences are rooted in the distinct (1) role of federally licensed commercial stations; (2) expectations about the contributions of public broadcasting to pluralism in program offerings; and (3) structures of public broadcasting. In this brief essay, we try to show what aspects of pluralism and diversity are valued in the very special case of US media policy and how the idea of public service plays out at a time when an increasingly fractionated society faces a fractionated array of media offerings.
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    Ownership in Russia
    (1996) Price, Monroe; Krug, Peter
    The broad strokes of Russian media ownership policy are relatively easy to identify: a commitment, expressed in statutory form, to mass media pluralism, marked by both state and private ownership. Beyond that however, the lines become blurred, as policy formulation becomes subject to competing demands. State domination and control gives way, but not without complex relationships to the past. In this chapter, we examine the process of change by attempting to identify the key elements of this hybrid system, focusing on several aspects of transformation, each of which, in some way, is connected to ownership. We shall first place these matters in historical context, and then describe the framework within which key decisions are made: the sources of law and policy.
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    Free Expression and Digital Dreams: The Open and Closed Terrain of Speech
    (1995-09-01) Price, Monroe
    Each new communications technology (theater, print, telegraph, telephone, radio) presents the possibility of altering the infrastructure of discourse. As it is absorbed, implemented, and developed, each technology plays out and reshapes ideas of community. Societies, as Karl Deutsch wrote, reveal themselves and can be differentiated through the distinctive webs of social intercourse that are the consequence of particular domestications, adaptations, or responses to innovations in modes of communicating. Because the current and massive redesign in the communications infrastructure - digital dreams of an electronic highway - will yield basic changes in social structure, governments are destined to try to affect the pace and direction of transformation. We are at an early stage, but government responses already seem chaotic, fitful, and undertheorized, more the product of the interaction among pressure groups than of some coherent notion of the role of free speech in society.
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    Satellite Broadcasting as Trade Routes in the Sky
    (2002-01-01) Price, Monroe
    The metaphor of trade routes - used from time to time to think about the distribution of ideas and imagery - ought to nourish our conception of transnational paths of delivery of electronic communications. Our minds are full of Rupert Murdoch and Disney, CNN and the BBC as traders in information, great shippers of data, distributors of sitcoms and news and advertisements. In the common reading of the world of electronic signals, the media is considered "global," and the general impression is of a constant and ever-present net that can deposit information everywhere, disregarding boundaries. Our common and most recent experiences with the Internet seem, at first blush, to confirm and underscore a belief that data careers around the world from server to server, in patterns that seem virtually impervious to purposive planning or political and legal intervention (Volokh, 1995). Sender and receiver are linked in ways that appear indifferent to the route or mode by which they are connected. The obsolescence of boundaries is reinforced. So, too, has been the effect of the seamlessness of telephony in the developed world, obliterating distance and time. In telephony, transmission pathways seem invisible, or at least irrelevant, to the substantive decisions of most users. Although users are almost never conscious of it, all these modes of communication (postal service, telegrams and telephones) required the construction of international systems of regulation. Assurance of adherence to worldwide standards was a condition for their instantaneous nature and compatibility. The predominance of the West in terms of development and control of access to technology dictated the change in structure of international communication, putting pressure on non-Western members to Westernize, in order to comply with the prevailing system's bureaucratic rules.
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    Researching Attitudes Towards Peace and Conflict and Darfur: An Analysis of a Research Initiative From February 2007 – October 2008
    (2008-11-01) Taylor, Maureen; Price, Monroe; Gagliardone, Iginio; Foreman, Athony; Abbott, Susan; Morgan, Libby
    The Researching Attitudes towards Peace and Conflict in Darfur project seeks to inform the ongoing peace process in Darfur by providing the various institutions involved in the mediation efforts with a deeper understanding of Darfurians’ perspectives on the causes of the conflict, its impact on their lives, and the role of the international community in its resolution. The project was initiated at the request of Albany Associates (, which was contracted by the UK’s Department for International Development in 2006 to engage in communication about the Darfur peace process among the population of Darfur and other key stakeholders on behalf of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and later United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). The project is a partnership of the Center for Global Communication Studies (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania) and the Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research, and is funded by contributions from the Dutch Ministry for Development Cooperation and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The guiding premise of the project is that complex, seemingly intractable conflicts cannot be effectively resolved without taking into account the positions and opinions of those most directly affected.
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    Comparative Analysis of International Co- And Self-Regulation in Communications Markets
    (2007-09-01) Latzer, Michael; Price, Monroe; Saurwein, Florian; Verhulst, Stefaan; Hollnbuchner, Katharina; Rance, Laura
    Globalisation, liberalisation and convergence of communication markets have triggered intensive debates about the options for regulatory reform, including the growing role of alternative modes of regulation (self-regulation, co-regulation). These alternatives or supplements to traditional statutory regulation are marked by the involvement of nongovernmental actors in regulatory processes. Both industry and policy makers consider alternative regulation to have great potential for solving problems in communication markets. Regulators are increasingly required to assess the potential and limitations of alternative regulatory institutions to inform or improve regulatory systems. As part of this, they are examining how existing alternative regulatory schemes work and what improvements can be made to them. Regulatory authorities are seeking to identify best practice in other countries in relation to self- and co-regulation and regulatory innovation. Empirical evaluations are intended to contribute to a better understanding of alternative modes of regulation and increase the knowledge base for decisions on whether various types of co- and self-regulatory solutions might be preferable to full statutory regulation. This report is intended to contribute to the regulator’s assessment- and regulatory choice-efforts. It examines whether and how success and failure of selected self- and co-regulatory schemes can be explained by their respective institutional design, by characteristics of the industries involved and by the established regulatory environment. In other words, the performance of selected self- and co-regulatory schemes is examined comparatively and it is investigated as to whether and how performance differences can be explained by differences in the organisational design of the alternative regulatory institutions (institutional/organisational success factors) and by differences regarding their particular industrial and regulatory environments (enabling contextual factors).
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    The Enabling Environment for Free and Independent Media: Contribution to Transparent and Accountable Governance
    (2002-01-01) Price, Monroe
    Throughout the world, there is a vast remapping of media laws and policies. This important moment for building more democratic media is attributable to rapid-fire geo-political changes. These include a growing zest for information, the general move towards democratization, numerous pressures from the international community, and the inexorable impact of new media technologies. Whatever the mix in any specific state, media law and policy is increasingly a subject of intense debate. Shaping an effective democratic society requires many steps. The formation of media law and media institutions is one of the most important. Too often, this process of building media that advances democracy is undertaken without a sufficient understanding of the many factors involved. This study is designed to improve such understanding, provide guidance for those who participate in the process of constructing such media, and indicate areas for further study. Laws are frequently looked at in isolation and as interchangeable parts that are separately advocated for the creation of effective and democracy-promoting media. They are also often analyzed and discussed with attention paid merely to their wording. However, each society has a cluster of activities, interactions of laws, and settings in which they exist that makes those laws more or less effective. Different states, at different stages of development, require different strategies for thinking about the role of media and, as a result, for thinking about the design and structure of the environment in which they operate.
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    Toward an Understanding of Media Policy and Media Systems in Iraq: A Foreword and Two Reports
    (2007-05-01) Price, Monroe; Griffin, Douglas; Al-Marashi, Ibrahim
    In the avalanche of analyses about what went wrong in Iraq, one area should be of particular interest to communications scholars: the development of a media system in Iraq. The emerging media system incorporates many significant strands: the conflict-related and post-conflict actions concerning media policy, the considerable growth of faction-related and entrepreneurial broadcasters after the conflict, the efforts by interests in the region (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and others) to affect the media environment, interventions by the United States and other Western countries, and their complex and often inept media-related reconstruction initiatives, the effort of non-government organizations (NGOs) to repeat or adopt practices from other conflict zones. There's a tendency in the communications studies literature to be concerned with particular U.S.-centric frames of discussion: access by Western journalists to information, depiction of the United States on Al-Jazeera and other satellite broadcasters, the combination of media and Islam as a mode of altering general public attitudes. I focus here — as an introduction to the two accompanying papers — on the emerging structure of media or media influences domestically in Iraq to understand the influence of the successor to Saddam's state television, the relationship between external state-sponsored influences, and pluralism within, and what consequence "media policy" or subsidy and private or party patronage has had on media institutions there. Finally, it will become increasingly important to understand the relationship between these media institutions and the actuality of continuing conflict and search for political solutions within Iraq. This "Occasional Paper" includes two reports. The first is a paper written by Ibrahim Al-Marashi, one of the few scholars systematically tracking media developments within Iraq. Dr. Al-Marashi was a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 and has, for the last year, been an Open Society Institute (OSI) Policy Scholar at the Center for Policy Studies at Central European University in Budapest. He has recently joined the faculty at Koç University in Istanbul. The second was commissioned by the Republic of Iraq Communications and Media Commission (CMC), the agency established first under the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) then maintained by the Iraqi governing authorities, and presented at a conference at UNESCO in January 2007. The report is the result of a contract between the CMC and the Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research in London.