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Russell Newman has expertise in the political economy of communication, neoliberalism, communications policymaking, and the movements that seek to affect communications policymaking.

Russell Newman's work explores the intersections of the political economy of communication, neoliberalism, the epistemological foundations of media policymaking, commercial and governmental surveillance, and activism surrounding communications policy. He is the author of The Paradoxes of Network Neutralities (MIT Press, 2019) which tracks the history of recent movements and debates surrounding broadband nondiscrimination policy in the US, from efforts seeking open access in the 1990s to the Restoring Internet Freedom order and its aftermath. It also addresses the role of these debates in nurturing what has popularly become known as ‘surveillance capitalism’ and their connections—direct and ambivalent alike—with the neoliberal project, carrying deep implications for future reform efforts.

He teaches classes on the political economy of global communication, the sales effort, democratic theory, and new forms of surveillance. Previously, he served as Research and Campaign Director for the national nonprofit advocacy group Free Press. There, he focused on state and federal media and telecommunications policy, working with community groups across the country to add their voice to the shaping of new regulation. With Robert McChesney and Ben Scott, he co-edited The Future of Media: Resistance and Reform in the 21st Century (Seven Stories Press, 2005), named as one of Working Assets' Recommended Reads for July 2005. He worked as a Telecommunications Fellow for Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois in 2007. He spent several years as a freelance multimedia designer and as a production designer for a number of independent films; he was also active in noncommercial radio in Boston for nearly a decade.


  • Department Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Since 2014


B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.S., Suffolk University
Ph.D., University of Southern California

Areas of Expertise

  • Digital Media


The Paradoxes of Network Neutralities

MIT Press

Political Economy / Network Neutrality

Entries in the International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy

The debate nobody knows: Network neutrality’s neoliberal roots and a conundrum for media reform

International Journal of Communication, 10, 5969- 5988. Available at

The Future of Media: Resistance and Reform in the 21st Century (co-edited with Robert McChesney and Ben Scott)

Seven Stories Press

Awards & Honors

Faculty Associate, Harvard University Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society