Rodney Benson

Rodney Benson is Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication and an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Sociology at New York University.

He is the author of Shaping Immigration News: A French-American Comparison (Cambridge, 2013), winner of the 2014 AEJMC Tankard Book Award and the 2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Best Book of the Decade Award.

Silvio Waisbord, editor of the Journal of Communication, has praised the book as “a sophisticated, elegant, and evidence-packed cross-national analysis that will be a go-to reference for comparative media research.”

Benson is also editor (with Erik Neveu) of Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field (Polity 2005; Chinese translation, Zhejiang University Press 2017) and co-author (with Matthew Powers) of Public Media and Political Independence: Lessons for the Future of Journalism from Around the World (Free Press, 2011).

He is currently working on a new book, How Media Ownership Matters (Oxford, under contract), with Mattias Hesserus and Julie Sedel. Drawing on interviews, organizational data, and news content analysis from Sweden, France, and the United States, the book goes beyond the standard media concentration debate to explore how different forms of media ownership (commercial, civil society, and public) facilitate different types of journalism.

Benson has been a visiting scholar or invited lecturer at universities in France (EHESS-Paris, CELSA-Sorbonne, IEP-Toulouse, IEP-Rennes, University of Montpellier), Germany (Universities of Bremen, Munich, Mannheim, Weimar), Switzerland (University of Zurich), Denmark (Copenhagen Business School, University of Copenhagen, Roskilde University, University of Southern Denmark), Norway (University of Oslo), Sweden (Bonnier Professorship, University of Stockholm), and Finland (University of Helsinki).

Prior to joining the NYU faculty, Benson was assistant professor of international communications and sociology at The American University of Paris; prior to his academic career, he was chief speechwriter for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.  He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California-Berkeley and an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Benson is a member of the editorial boards of Poetics, International Journal of Press/Politics, Communication and the Public, Journalism, and Politiques de Communication. His research and theoretical articles have appeared in many leading sociological and media/communications journals,  including the American Sociological Review, Theory and Society, Poetics, American Sociologist, American Behavioral Scientist, Political Communication, International Journal of Press/Politics, and Journal of Communication. He has also published articles in Le Monde Diplomatique, the Christian Science Monitor, and The Conversation.