James L. Baughman

Fetzer-Bascom Professor


James L. Baughman is the Fetzer-Bascom Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds an affiliate appointment in the University’s Department of History and is chair of the advisory board for the University’s Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture.

Baughman specializes in the history of American journalism and broadcasting. His scholarly work includes four books, Television’s Guardians: The Federal Communications Commission and the Politics of Programming, 1958-1967 (Tennessee, 1985), Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the Modern American News Media (rev. ed., Johns Hopkins, 2001), The Republic of Mass Culture: Journalism, Filmmaking and Broadcasting in America since 1941, 3rd ed. (Johns Hopkins, 2006), and Same Time, Same Station: Creating American Television, 1948-1961 (Johns Hopkins, 2007). He is currently writing a history of journalism and presidential politics since 1960.

A member of the Wisconsin Journalism faculty since 1979, Baughman offers courses in the history of mass communication, literary journalism, and interpretive news writing. A popular instructor, he received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003. He served two terms as the director of the School (2003-09). His many public appearances on behalf of the School and University while he was director earned him the first Ciriacks Alumni Outreach Excellence Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association in 2005.

Baughman is a member of the American Historical Association, the Business History Conference and the Organization of American Historians (OAH). For three years he served on the OAH’s Erik Barnouw Committee, which honors outstanding historical documentaries, and chaired the committee in 1996-97. Baughman was a member of the Wisconsin Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1985 to 1992, and chaired the committee from 1989 to 1992.

An Ohio native, Baughman received his BA in history at Harvard University in 1974. He earned his MA, M.Phil and Ph.D. in history at Columbia.