The Creation of Media

Tags: Technology Policy

In his recent book, “The Creation of the Media,” Pulitzer Prize winning author Paul Starr tells a powerful narrative about the origins of the modern system of communications. Notably, he emphasizes how our nation’s communication technologies–ranging from the post office to newspapers to the telephone to radio–all reflect deliberate political choices that affected the structure of those media. Taken together, Starr celebrates an American system that produced different ownership of new technologies–Western Union never gained control of the telephone, for example–and helped foster our democratic system.

Starr’s terrific book ends in 1941, but his perspective on the media’s development invites comparison to the modern debates about the rules that govern the media’s industry structure. The structure of the modern media and the conduct of individual firms with it are questions that continue to occupy journalists, lawyers, and interested citizens. In this seminar, we will hear from Paul Starr himself, as well as the reactions to his important book and its contemporary relevance.


Welcome and Overview
Principal Address
  • Paul Starr
    Professor of Sociology, Princeton University
  • John Francis
    Partner, Davis, Graham & Stubbs LLP
  • Natalie Hanlon Leh
    Co-Partner-in-Charge, Denver Office, WilmerHale
  • Rolland Johnson
    CEO, Three Eagles Communications
  • James Morgese
    General Manager, Rocky Mountain PBS
  • Paul Teske
    Dean, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado at Denver
Final Word
  • Paul Starr
    Professor of Sociology, Princeton University

Know What’s Next