In this chapter, Victor Pickard explores the systemic disconnect between media studies and media policy. By situating this gap within historical, intellectual, and ideological contexts, he proposes possible strategies for bridging the two areas. He suggests that, contrary to many assumptions and practices, media studies scholars should directly engage with media policy debates of critical import. The chapter addresses some of the challenges and opportunities for scholars to intervene in core media policy debates in the coming years, including discussions about the future of journalism, media ownership, public media, and Internet policies like net neutrality. Pickard concludes by arguing that media studies and communication scholars have a special role to play in helping to advance policy that enables greater democratic potentials for all of society.
Media studies and media policy would appear to be natural allies with deep affinities. But a number of barriers frequently hinder what should be a fruitful interaction. Bridging this divide would mutually benefit both areas. While media policy debates occasionally have been enriched by scholarly input in the past, the proliferation of media-related challenges facing society today calls for much more engagement from the academic community. Indeed, at perhaps no other time in living memory have both the stakes for such debates been as high and the ...