Profile picture of Janet Wasko

Janet Wasko

Professor and Emeritus Knight Chair in Communication Research
Affiliated Faculty, New Media & Culture Program
Phone: 541-346-4174
Office: 208 Allen Hall
City: Eugene


Janet Wasko studies the political economy of media, communication and the environment, media theory, and international communication. She is author or editor of twenty-three books, a recipient of the C. Edwin Baker Award for the Advancement of Scholarship on Media, Markets and Democracy, and an International Communication Association Fellow.

She was selected as an inaugural member of the UO Sustainability Faculty Fellows, and shared the Eugene Convention Leadership Award for presiding over 1,000 scholars at the IAMCR’s Reimagining Sustainability conference. Wasko is founder and co-director of the What is…? Series, and has served as Philip H. Knight Chair in Communication Research and President of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).


  • PhD, University of Illinois, 1980
  • MS, California State University, Northridge, 1974
  • BA, California State University, Northridge, 1973


Wasko engages an interdisciplinary approach to focus on media markets, industries, and corporations, with an emphasis on ownership, control, power and the environment. Much of her work has explored the US film and television industries, the Walt Disney Company, and democratic institutions.


Selected works:

Swartz, Jeremy and Janet Wasko (eds.), LIFE: A Transdisciplinary Inquiry, Bristol, UK/Chicago, IL: Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2023.

Graham Murdock and Janet Wasko, "Contested Critique: The Political Career of the Political Economy Section," in Reflections on the International Association for Media and Communication Research: Many Voices, One Forum, Palgrave Macmillan, 2023.

Swartz, Jeremy and Janet Wasko (eds.), MEDIA: A Transdisciplinary Inquiry, Bristol, UK/Chicago, IL: Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2021.

Wasko, Janet, Understanding Disney: The Manufacture of Fantasy, 2nd Edition, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2020.

Wasko, Janet and Eileen R. Meehan (eds.), A Companion to Television, 2nd Edition, Blackwell Companions in Cultural Studies Series, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2020.

Swartz, Jeremy, Janet Wasko, Carolyn Marvin, Robert K. Logan, and Beth Coleman, "Philosophy of Technology: Who Is in the Saddle?" Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 96, no. 2 (2019): 351-366.

Wasko, Janet, "Studying political economies of communication in the twenty-first century," Javnost-The Public 25, no. 1-2 (2018): 233-239.

Wasko, Janet, "Hollywood in the 21st Century," Economia della Cultura 27, no. 4 (2017): 479-496.

Birkinbine, Benjamin J., Rodrigo Gomez, and Janet Wasko (eds.), Global Media Giants, New York: Routledge, 2016.

Wasko, Janet, "Revisiting the political economy of film," in The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Politics, Routledge, 2016, pp. 84-96.

Wasko, Janet, "Learning from the History of the Field," Media Industries Journal 1, no. 3 (2015).

Russial, John, Peter Laufer, and Janet Wasko, "Journalism in crisis?" Javnost-The Public 22, no. 4 (2015): 299-312.

Wasko, Janet, "The study of the political economy of the media in the twenty-first century," International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics 10, no. 3 (2014): 259-271.

Wasko, Janet, Hollywood in the Information Age: Beyond the Silver Screen, Polity Press, 1994 (e-book, 2013).

Meehan, Eileen R. and Janet Wasko, "In defence of a political economy of the media," Javnost-The Public 20, no. 1 (2013): 39-53.

Wasko, Janet, Graham Murdock and Maria Helena Sousa (eds.), The Handbook of Political Economy of Communications, Handbooks of Global Media and Communication Series, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

Wasko, Janet, "Children’s virtual worlds: The latest commercialization of children’s culture," in Childhood and Consumer Culture, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010, pp. 113-129.