About Us

COMPASS provides placement assistance and financial support for graduate students from participating universities to undertake meaningful summer internships in Washington, D.C.

Past COMPASS Fellows have been placed in congressional offices, the State Department, the Federal Communications Commission, and a variety of research and advocacy organizations such as Common Cause, Free Press, and the New America Foundation.

By the end of the eight-week period fellows will have acquired an in-depth understanding of a particular topic or area of concern, and gained in-depth experience with the policymaking process.

The program in 2018 will start the first week in June and extend through the first week of August.  In addition to their work with the institutions where they are placed, students will participate in a weekly seminar on the mechanics of the policy process, including how communications scholarship can assist policy makers.

Our Mission and History

In 2003, a group of department chairs and deans from Communication Studies programs around the country formed the Consortium on Media Policy Studies.  The current sponsoring programs include the following universities:

Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California

Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin

School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University

Communication Studies, University of Michigan

Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University

Other universities are invited to participate, and can contact Mark Lloyd or Victor Pickard for more information.

The purpose of the consortium is to build bridges between the needs of policy makers and the study of media and communication technologies. COMPASS seeks to train more graduate students in the areas of media policy, law, and regulation; we are dedicated to making the academic study of the mass media and communication systems more relevant to and informing of national and international policy planning and regulatory proposals.

Our initiative seeks to address the paucity of well-informed, well-researched media policy and regulation and the threat this poses to democracy, both in the United States and around the world. We seek to stimulate and generate a new cohort of scholars, activists, and policy-makers who can deal with the realities of contemporary U.S. state and business power and the resultant democratic deficit experienced by people here and around the globe.

Program Organizers

Mark Lloyd
Clinical Professor of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California

Victor Pickard
Associate Professor of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania

COMPASS Advisory Board

Michael X. Delli Carpini
Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania

Susan Douglas
Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan

Larry Gross
Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California

Sharon Strover
Philip G. Warner Regents Professor in Communication, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin