Ph.D, Mass Communication, University of Minnesota, 1984


Richard Kielbowicz, Associate Professor, teaches courses on communication law and policy, history of communication, and history of media technology. Most of his research focuses on pre-Internet communication networks, specifically the postal system, telegraphy, telephony, and early broadcasting. His studies examine how technology and public policy affected the circulation of public information (news, entertainment, advertising) — who got it, on what terms, and in what form. The following articles give a sense of his areas of interest.

Selected publications

  • “Electrifying News! Journalists, Audiences, and the Culture of Timeliness in the United States, 1840-1920,” Time & Society 28 (February 2019): 200-230.
  • “Regulating Timeliness: Technologies, Laws, and the News, 1840-1970,” Journalism and Communication Monographs 17 (Spring 2015): 5-83.
  • “AT&T’s Antigovernment Lesson-Drawing in the Political Economy of Networks, 1905-20,” History of Political Economy 41 (Winter 2009): 673-708.
  • “The Law and Mob Law in Attacks on Antislavery Newspapers, 1833-1860,” Law and History Review 24 (Fall 2006): 559-600.
  • “The Role of News Leaks in Governance and the Law of Journalists’ Confidentiality, 1795-2005,” San Diego Law Review 43 (Summer 2006): 425-94.
  • Richard Kielbowicz and Linda Lawson, “Unmasking Hidden Commercials in Broadcasting: Origins of the Sponsorship Identification Regulations, 1927-1963,” Federal Communications Law Journal 56 (March 2004): 329-76.
  • “Postal Subsidies for the Press and the Business of Mass Culture, 1880-1920,” Business History Review 64 (Autumn 1990): 451-88.
  • Richard B. Kielbowicz and Clifford Scherer, “The Role of the Press in the Dynamics of Social Movements,” Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change: A Research Annual, vol. 9 (Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, 1986): 71-96.
  • “Modernization, Communication Policy, and the Geopolitics of News, 1820-1860,” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 3 (March 1986): 21-35.