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Frederick Schiff, Ph.D.

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Associate Professor

  • Office:  Communications Bldg, Room #222  
  • Email:
  • Phone:  713-743-2864   

Dr. Frederick Schiff earned his B.A. at Reed College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political sociology at UCLA. He teaches news writing, media sociology and critical cultural studies. He created and edits an investigative news website at His student reporters and producers won 12 regional awards from three press associations for multi-media stories done in 2006. As the semester schedule permits, they produce half-hour weekly news programs for online, radio and cable TV dissemination. The concept for the "Not-for-Profit News" show is to cover the unresolved core issues in the Houston metro region, not to hype events as spectacles for commercial gain. Schiff does research on media corporations, news content and ideological conflict. He worked as a reporter and foreign correspondent for 10 years in Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. Dr. Schiff won a major federal grant from the National Science Foundation to study of daily newspapers in more than 120 cities. He is writing a book to evaluate the merits of all the competing theories of news bias and news censorship, based on the first nationally representative sample of more than 6,000 stories. Most recently, Schiff gained national recognition by winning a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and do research at the prestigious Federal University of Bahia in Salvador, Brazil. The comparative project is studying the "hidden" links between the upper classes, oligopoly media corporations and anti-democratic arrangements in mega-cities around the world. Schiff is the director of the Research Institute for Metro-Urban Communication (RIM-Com). His research has been published in leading scholarly journals, including Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Quarterly Journal of Ideology, Journal of American Culture, International Communication Bulletin, Research on Language and Social Interaction, and Sociological Perspectives.


  • University of California, Los Angeles, Ph.D. in Sociology
  • Columbia University, New York, Department of Sociology and Bureau of Applied Social Research
  • University of California, Los Angeles, M.A. in Sociology
  • Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA, Spanish language certificate
  • Reed College, Portland, B.A., Major: Political Science
  • University of California, Berkeley, Major: Physics

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  • Media and Society (Introduction to Mass Communication)
  • Media Writing and Reporting (for Print, Broadcast and Online Media)
  • Advanced Newswriting and Reporting
  • Feature Writing
  • Urban and Investigative Reporting
  • International and Freelance Reporting
  • Media Management and Economics
  • Social Issues in Journalism
  • Media, Power and Society
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Political Sociology
  • Collective Behavior and Social Movements
  • Social Change and Development)
  • Media and Culture
  • Case Studies in Media and Culture
  • Media Corporations and News Content
  • Sociology of Knowledge

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Selected Publications

  • Schiff, F. The Dominant Ideology in the News: A National Study of News Stories and Newspaper Ownership. Based on my National Science Foundation grant. Data analyses completed.
  • Schiff, F. U.S. Newspaper Industry, 1948-2008: Management Culture, Corporate Strategy and Capital Accumulation. Book contract with Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Schiff, F., and David J. Francis. (2006) “Organizational Culture and Its Influence on the News: Class Ideology in Newspapers and Chains.” Quarterly Journal of Ideology, 29 (3-4): July. Available at <>
  • Schiff, F. (2006) “Trends Emerging More Clearly: Business Models of News Web Sites.” First Monday, Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet, Special Issue #6: Commercial Applications of the Internet, July. Available at <>
  • Schiff, F. (2004). "The Dominant Ideology in the Press: Run-of-the-Paper Background Assumptions in 14 Ohio Newspapers." Quarterly Journal of Ideology, 27 (3-4): December. Available at <>.
  • Schiff, F. (2003). "Business Models for News Web Sites: A Survey of Empirical Trends and Expert Opinion." First Monday: Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet, 8(6): June 2. Available at <>.

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Professional Activities

  • Schiff, F. (N/PR) "Oligopoly Newspaper Chains: A Market Theory." Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in San Antonio, TX, Aug. 11, 2005.
  • Schiff, F., and George Reiter. (N/PR) "Measuring Intercoder Reliability: Scott's Pi Reconsidered." Paper presented at the American Sociological Association conference in San Francisco, CA, Aug. 14, 2004
  • Schiff, F. (N/PR) "The Newspaper Agenda: Cross-Media Growth, 1996-2004." Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in Toronto, Canada, Aug. 5, 2004. Organized and moderated panel on media mergers and acquisitions.
  • Schiff, F. (N/PR) "An Oligopoly Model of the U.S. Newspaper Industry, 1977-2002." Paper presented at the annual joint conference of the American Economics Association and the Allied Social Science Association in Washington, D.C., Jan. 4, 2003.
  • Schiff, F. (N/PR) "Abu Nidal: Ideological Limits of Secular Palestinian Nationalism." Paper presented at Middle East Studies Association in Washington, D.C., in November 2002.
  • Schiff, F. and J. Gaskin. (N/PR) "Business Models of Online News Oranizations: Endgame for Global Media Dominance?" Paper present at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Miami, Fla., Aug. 8, 2002. Second place winner in Media Management and Economics Division.


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  • Fulbright Fellowship, 2008, teaching and research exchange program, Faculdade de Comunicação,
  • Universidade Federal da Bahia, in Salvador, Brazil
  • Hybrid Course Development grant, School of Communication, Spring 2006
  • Faculty Development Initiative Program grant, Fall 2005
  • National Science Foundation, 2000-2004. "American Newspaper Publishers: Ideological Management and Class Bias in the News." 

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Affiliations and Links

  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), 1985-2010
  • American Sociological Association (ASA), 1964-75, 1984-2010
  • Newspaper Association of America (NAA), 1996-2010
  • National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), 2002-2010
  • Associated Press Managing Editors (APME), 1990-2005
  • Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), 2002-2005
  • Houston-Area Hispanic Media Professionals (HAHMP), 1991-2005
  • National Union of Journalists, London, 1981-1983
  • National Communication Association (NCA), 1988-2005
  • International Communication Association (ICA), 1991-2005
  • Middle East Studies Association (MESA), 1984-2005
  • Latin American Studies Association (LASA), 1989-96
  • Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies (PCCLAS), 1984-89


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