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Tom Jacobson

Professor, Department of Media Studies and Production in the School of Communications and Theater, Temple University

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Tom Jacobson is Professor in the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University and program director of the Master of Science in Globalization and Development Communication. Research interests include national development, democratization, and public communication.

Tom received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. Before arriving at Temple in 2005 he served as Chair of SUNY-Buffalo’s Department of Communication and was founding Director of its Informatics Research Center.  He has been a Visiting Professor at Northwestern and Cornell Universities and is past President of the Participatory Communication Research Section of the International Association of Media and Communication Research. Recent publications include Chang, L. & Jacobson, T., and Zhang, W.  (2013). Discourse and Legitimation in Singapore: The Case of Anti-Smoking Policy. Journal of Communication. 63(6), 1153-1174; T. Jacobson, Lingling Pan, Seung Joon Jun  (2011). Indicators of Citizen Voice for Assessing Media Development: A Communicative Action Approach, Evaluating the Evaluators:  Measures of Press Freedom and Media Contributions to Development (pp. 281-306). (Eds.) Monroe Price and Susan Abbott, Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press; and Odugbemi, S & Jacobson T. L.  (Eds.) (2008). Governance Reform Under Real World Conditions: Citizens, Stakeholders, and Voice. Washington DC: The World Bank. 
Lately, Tom is concerned that despite historical valorization of the idea of the voice of the people, more could be done by governments and media practitioners to actually listen.  He is working on survey research protocols to determine the extent to which people feel that media represent citizen interests and that governments listen, in developed as well as developing societies.