Michael Schudson grew up in Milwaukee, Wisc. He received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1976 to 1980 and at the University of California, San Diego from 1980 to 2009. From 2005 on, he split his teaching between UCSD and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, becoming a full-time member of the Columbia faculty in 2009.
He is the author of eleven books and co-editor of four others concerning the history and sociology of the American news media, advertising, popular culture, Watergate and cultural memory. He is the recipient of a number of honors; he has been a Guggenheim fellow, a resident fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellow. His most recent books include The Rise of the Right to Know (Harvard, 2015), Why Journalism Still Matters (Polity, 2018), and Journalism: Why It Matters (Polity, 2020). He has been awarded honorary degrees by the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) and Hong Kong Baptist University.