Michael X. Delli Carpini is Professor of Communication and the Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication. His research focuses on the extent, sources, and impact of public deliberation; the causes and consequences of the blurring between news and entertainment; generational differences in political and civic participation; and the impact of the media on political knowledge and democratic engagement. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in July of 2003, Delli Carpini was Director of the Public Policy program of the Pew Charitable Trusts (1999-2003), and member of the Political Science Department at Barnard College and graduate faculty of Columbia University (1987-2002), serving as chair of the Barnard department from 1995 to 1999. Delli Carpini began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Rutgers University (1980-1987). His research explores the role of the citizen in American politics, with particular emphasis on the impact of the mass media on public opinion, political knowledge, and political participation.
amalia is the Program Director of the Media Democracy Fund. Prior to joining the staff of the Media Democracy Fund, amalia coordinated the media policy initiatives of the Center for Media Justice and Media Action Grassroots Network. amalia has over 17 years of experience in community and cultural organizing, with a specific engagement with human rights, cultural rights and traditional knowledge. Throughout her career, amalia has used her extensive experience for field-building, community-building, and policy advocacy. Born in Guatemala, she worked for many years at the Main Street Project, where she co-directed a nationally recognized four-state rural Latino capacity-building initiative called The Raíces Project. amalia holds a B.A. in Urban Studies and History and a J.D. with a focus on Social Justice, with additional study in International Human Rights at the University of London’s Institute for Advanced Legal Studies.
Dr. Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University. Prior to that, he held positions at Columbia University and Morehouse College. He is currently the host of BET News and a political contributor for CNN. An award-winning journalist, Dr. Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
Since his days as a youth in Philadelphia, Dr. Hill has been a social justice activist and organizer. He is a founding board member of My5th, a non-profit organization devoted to educating youth about their legal rights and responsibilities. He is also a board member and organizer of the Philadelphia Student Union. Dr. Hill also works closely with the ACLU Drug Reform Project, focusing on drug informant policy. Over the past few years, he has actively worked on campaigns to end the death penalty and to release numerous political prisoners. Ebony Magazine has named him one of America’s 100 most influential Black leaders.
Des Freedman is a professor of media and communication studies at Goldsmiths University of London. He was a founding member and recent chair of the Media Reform Coalition and was project lead for the Inquiry into the Future of Public Service Television chaired by Lord Puttnam. He is interested in the relationship between media and power together with the political and economic contexts of media policymaking, regulation and reform. He is a former editor of the Sage journal ‘Global Media and Communication’ and has edited several strands for openDemocracy including ‘Anti-austerity and media activism’ (with Natalie Fenton and Gholam Khiabany), ‘Liberalism in neo-liberal times’ (with Gholam Khiabany, Kate Nash and Julian Petley) and ‘Capitalism and universities’ (with Michael Bailey). His latest books include Misunderstanding the Internet (2nd edition, Routledge 2016, with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) and The Contradictions of Media Power (Bloomsbury 2014).
Juan D. González is an award-winning broadcast journalist and investigative reporter. A two-time winner of the George Polk Award, he is co-host of Democracy Now!, author of “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America,” and a founder of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He spent 29 years as a columnist for the New York Daily News. Juan González’s research interests include journalism; mass media history; federal mass communications policy; history of Latinos in the United States; Puerto Rico-U.S. relations; immigration, race and labor relations; and the role of dissident movements in promoting social change. Since the 1970s, he has been a general reporter and columnist in newspapers, radio, and television – both commercial and alternative media. His areas of expertise have centered on urban affairs and investigative reporting, with a special focus on municipal land use and tax policies, public education, criminal justice, race relations, the trade union movement, immigration, and the Latino community.
One of González’s books, “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America,” has been used for more than a decade as a required text in nearly two hundred college Latino history and ethnic studies courses. A 2012 feature documentary based on the book (narrated by González) garnered several major documentary awards. In addition, the 2013 PBS Series “Latino Americans” featured interviews with him in three of its six segments. A more recent work he co-authored in 2011, “News for All The People: The Epic Story Race and the American Media,” is currently used in several college media history courses.
Before beginning his career in journalism, González spent several years as a Latino community and civil rights activist, helping to found and lead two national organizations, the Young Lords Party during the late 1960s, and the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights during the late 1970s.
Seated in 2016, Councilmember Helen Gym is a longtime education and community organizer and is the first Asian American woman elected to the Philadelphia City Council. As chair of Council’s Children and Youth Committee, she has helped lead a public schools agenda that contributed to the end of the 17-year state takeover of the Philadelphia school system, supported funding for pre-K programs, and restored nurses and counselors back to every public school. She established the city’s first legal defense fund for tenants facing eviction and the first budget fund to specifically address youth homelessness. She has also focused her legislative efforts on economic justice issues, including championing fair scheduling legislation, expanding the city’s living wage laws, and requiring disclosure for businesses accepting city subsidies. She is Vice Chair of Local Progress, a network of progressive municipal leaders, where she has helped lead national efforts around Sanctuary Cities and progressive public education policies.
Michelle Miller is the co-founder of Coworker.org, a digital platform for worker voice. Since its founding in 2013, Coworker.org has catalyzed the growth of global, independent employee networks advancing wins like paid parental leave at Netflix, scheduling reform at Starbucks and changes to Google’s code of conduct, among many others. In 2015, Michelle was proud to join President Barack Obama as co-moderator of the first ever digital Town Hall on Worker Voice, bringing the voices and concerns of workers directly to the White House. Before co-founding Coworker.org, Michelle spent a decade at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) where she pioneered creative projects that advanced union campaigns. A nationally recognized media artist, she directed community workshops for Hollow, a 2014 Peabody award-winning interactive documentary about her home state of West Virginia. She sits on the boards of the Brooklyn Institute For Social Research, Appalshop, and Arts & Democracy Project.
Philip M. Napoli is the James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy and a Faculty Affiliate with the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media & Democracy. He also serves as a Docent at the University of Helsinki. Professor Napoli’s research focuses on media institutions and media regulation and policy. He has provided formal and informal expert testimony on these topics to government bodies such as the U.S. Senate, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Congressional Research Service.
Professor Napoli is the author of three books: Foundations of Communications Policy: Principles and Process in the Regulation of Electronic Media (Hampton Press, 2001); Audience Economics: Media Institutions and the Audience Marketplace (Columbia University Press, 2003) (winner of the Robert Picard Award for the Best Book in Media Management and Economics from the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication); and Audience Evolution: New Technologies and the Transformation of Media Audiences (Columbia University Press, 2011). He is also the editor of Media Diversity and Localism: Meaning and Metrics (Routledge, 2007) and co-editor with Minna Aslama of Communications Research in Action: Scholar-Activist Collaborations for a Democratic Public Sphere (Fordham University Press, 2011). Professor Napoli has also published over 50 articles in legal, public policy, journalism, and communication journals; as well as over 30 invited book chapters in edited collections.
Professor Napoli’s research has received awards from the National Business and Economics Society, the Broadcast Education Association, the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association, and has been cited in a number of government proceedings and reports. His research has been funded by organizations such as the Ford Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the Center for American Progress. His current project, funded by the Democracy Fund, is the News Measures Research Project, which focuses on developing new approaches to assessing the health of local journalism ecosystems, in an effort to identify the community characteristics that impact the health of local journalism.