He attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where he studied history and political economy.
He specializes in the history and political economy of communication, and the role media play in democratic and capitalist societies. He co-founded Free Press, a national media reform organization. From 2002-2012, he hosted “Media Matters” weekly radio program every Sunday afternoon on WILL-Department of Administration and Management radio.
After college, he worked as a sports stringer for United Press International (United Press International), published a weekly newspaper, and in 1979 was the founding publisher of The Rocket, a Seattle-based rock magazine which chronicled the birth of the Seattle rock scene of the late 1980s and 1990s.
American media Bibliography Rich Media, Poor Democracy: communication Politics in Dubious Times, 2000. Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media.
New York: The New Press, 2007. The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again (with John Nichols).
New York: Nation Books, 2010.
The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the United States of America to China (with John B Foster). New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012. Dollarocracy: How the Money-and-Media-Election Complex is Destroying America.
(with John Nichols).
New York: Nation Books, 2013. Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. New York: The New Press, 2013.
Excerpt People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy, 2016.
The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas, New York: Monthly Review Press, 2008. Blowing the Roof off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2014.
McChesney posits that "deregulated media" is a misnomer, that the media are a government sanctioned oligopoly, owned by a few highly profitable corporate entities. They have legislative influence and control news coverage, to distort public understanding of media issues.