Professor Emeritus

T: 778-782-4261 ext 3
Room: K9651

Robert Hackett

Robert A. Hackett is Professor Emeritus of communication, Simon Fraser University. He is also a short-term Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury's Erskine program, New Zealand. He plans to return to Simon Fraser University for a one-term course in Liberal Studies, on political theory: The Ecological Challenge to Democracy, in 2021

Dr. Hackett continues to be actively engaged in research and writing.  He has written extensively on media democratization, and journalism as political communication.  His most recent collaborative books include Journalism and Climate Crisis: Public Engagement, Media Alternatives (2017),  Expanding Peace Journalism: Comparative and Critical Approaches (2011), and Remaking Media: The Struggle to Democratize Public Communication (2006).  

He also contributes posts and essays for the National Observer and other independent media, as well as my Greening the News blog at on the ocassional basis.

He is on the editorial advisory board of Journalism Studies, Journal of Alternative and Community Media, and other academic journals.  He has co-founded several community-oriented media education and advocacy initiatives, including NewsWatch Canada,, and Media Democracy Days.  


  • 1983 Ph.D. Political Studies, Queen’s University, Canada Dissertation:”Bias” in Television News? A Content Analysis of CBC and CTV National Evening Newscasts, with Special Emphasis on Labour and Business Coverage.
  • 1976 M.A. Political Studies, Queen’s University, Canada Thesis: The Waffle and the New Democratic Party in Ontario: A Case Study in Canadian Leftist Politics.
  • 1973 B.A. Political Science (Honours, 1st class), secondary concentration in Sociology, Simon Fraser University, Canada


Dr. Hackett has authored or co-authored many dozens of refereed, professional and trade journal articles, research reports, monographs, book chapters, book reviews, policy briefs, encyclopedia entries, newspaper articles, and conference papers, since 1979.  His work has been translated into Chinese, Ukrainian and Serbian.  Please contact him for a full CV


  • 2017.  R. Hackett, S. Forde, S. Gunster and K. Foxwell-Norton.  Journalism and Climate Crisis: Public Engagement, Media Alternatives.  Routledge.
  • 2011 . I.S.Shaw, R. Hackett and J. Lynch (eds). Expanding Peace Journalism: Critical and Comparative Approaches.  Sydney University Press.
  • 2006. R. Hackett and W.K. Carroll.  Remaking Media: The Struggle to Democratize Public Communication. London: Routledge.
  • 2005. R. Hackett and Y. Zhao (eds). Democratizing Global Media: One World, Many Struggles.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • 2000. K. Cross and R. Hackett. Political Communication and the News Media in Democracies: Competing Perspectives. Kyiv: Osnovy Press, 142 pp. (In Ukrainian only; translated under the auspices of the Canada-Ukraine Democratic Education Project: Queen’s University, Kingston, and Taras Shevchenko National University, Kyiv.)
  • 2000. R. Hackett and R. Gruneau, with D. Gutstein, T. Gibson and NewsWatch Canada. The Missing News: Filters and Blind Spots in Canada’s Press. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives/Toronto: Garamond Press, 258 pp.
  • 1998. R. Hackett and Y. Zhao. Sustaining Democracy? Journalism and the Politics of Objectivity. Toronto: Garamond Press (distributed by University of Toronto Press).
  • 1991. R. Hackett.  News and Dissent: The Press and the Politics of Peace in Canada.  Ablex.

Selected Book Chapters

  •  P. Gurleyen and R. Hackett, 2016.  “Who needs objectivity? Journalism in crisis, journalism for crisis,” in Mike Gasher et al., Journalism in Crisis (University of Toronto Press), pp. 27-52.
  • K. Cross, R. Hackett and S. Anderson, 2014. “Publicity State or Democratic Media? Strategies for Change,” in Kirsten Kozolanka, ed., Publicity and the Canadian State (University of Toronto Press), pp. 304-326.
  • J. Lynch, R. Hackett and I.S. Shaw. 2011. “Introduction: expanding peace journalism — comparative and critical approaches,” in J. Lynch, I.S. Shaw and R. Hackett (eds.)  Expanding Peace Journalism: Critical and Comparative Perspectives, Sydney University Press, pp. 7-30.
  • R. Hackett.  2011.  ”New vistas for peace journalism: alternative media and communication rights,” in J. Lynch, I.S. Shaw and R. Hackett (eds.) Expanding Peace Journalism: Critical and Comparative Perspectives, Sydney University Press, pp. 33-67.

Selected Refereed Journal Articles

  • 2018. R. Hackett.  “Planetary Emergency and Sustainable Democracy: What Can Media and Communication Scholars Do?”  The Political Economy of Communication 6(1), 989-106.
  • 2013. R. Hackett, S. Wylie and P. Gurleyen.  “Enabling Environments: Reflections on Journalism and Climate Justice.”  Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics 10 (2/3), 34-46.2012. 
  • R. Hackett and D. Skinner. ”Keeping the Fox at bay: A Canadian perspective on the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal.”  Television and New Media.
  • 2010.  R. Hackett. “Journalism for Peace and Justice: Towards a Comparative Analysis of Media Paradigms,” Studies in Social Justice,4(2).
  • 2008.  R. Hackett, “The Campaign against ‘Amerika’: Catalyst for Media Democratization,” Democratic Communique 22, No. 2, Fall 2008 pp.: 46-65.
  • 2008. R. Hackett with W. Carroll, “Building our media: Community broadcasting, social movements and media democratization.” Global Media Journal – Australian edition, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2008, 6 pp.
  • 2008. R. Hackett and B. Schroeder with NewsWatch Canada, “Does anybody practice peace journalism? A cross-national comparison of press coverage of the Afghanistan and Israeli-Hezbollah wars.”  Peace and Policy, Vol. 13, 2008, pp. 26-46
  • 2007. M. Hayes, I.E. Ross, M. Gasher, D. Gutstein, J.R. Dunn, and R. Hackett, “Telling Stories: News Media, Health Literacy and Public Policy in Canada,” Social Science and Medicine 64, pp. 1842-1852. 
  • 2007. M. Gasher, M. Hayes, R. Hackett, D. Gutstein, I.E. Ross, and J. Dunn, “Spreading the News: Social Determinants of Health Reportage in Canadian Daily Newspapers,” Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 32, No. 3 and 4, pp. 557-574.
  • 2007. R. Hackett. “Journalism versus Peace? Notes on a Problematic Relationship.” Global Media Journal, Mediterranean edition 2(1), Spring, 2007, pp. 47-53
  • 2006. W. Carroll and R. Hackett, “Democratic Media Activism through the Lens of Social Movement Theory,” Media, Culture and Society, Vol. 28(1): 83-104.
  • 2006. R. Hackett, “Is Peace Journalism Possible?  Three Frameworks for Analyzing Structure and Agency in News Media,” Conflict and Communication Online Vol. 5, No. 2, October 2006, 13 pp. [Republished as a book chapter in 2007
  • 2005. S. Uzelman, R. Hackett and J. Stewart. “Covering Democracy’s Forum: Canadian Press Treatment of Public and Private Broadcasting.” Critical Studies in Media Communication, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 156-169
  • 2004. Y. Zhao and R. Hackett, “Chuanbo Quanqiuhua yu Minzhuhua: Maodun yu Beilun,” (Media globalization and democratization: Paradoxes and issues), in Xinwen yu chuanbo pinglun (Journalism and Communication Review 2003), Wuhan University Press, 2004 (translated and published in this leading Chinese social science journal).
  • 2003. R. Hackett and S. Uzelman, “Tracing Corporate Influence on Press Content: A Recent Summary of NewsWatch Canada Research,” Journalism Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 331-46
  • 2000. R. Hackett.  “Taking Back the Media: Notes on the Potential for a Communicative Democracy Movement,” Studies in Political Economy 63 (Autumn): 61-86.

Related Recent Work

  •  2018. R. Hackett and P. Adams, with NewsWatch Canada. Jobs vs. Environment? Mainstream and Alternative Media Coverage of Pipeline Controversies [report].  Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
  • 2011. R. Hackett and S. Anderson, “Democratizing Communication Policy in Canada: A Social Movement Perspective.” Canadian Journal of Communication,
  • 2010. R. Hackett and Y. Zhao, “Introduction,” to Serbian edition of Sustaining Democracy? Journalism and Objectivity, Belgrade: Clio.


  • 2018.  SFU annual Warren Gill award for community impact
  • 2015.  Union for Democratic Communications Dallas Smythe award for influential scholarship in critical political economy of communication.


  • Media democratization and Media Reform movements
  • Journalism studies: objectivity, journalism paradigms, media determinants
  • Peace Journalism
  • Political communication, news media & social movements
  • Peace, war and media
  • Textual analysis of news  (co-director, NewsWatch Canada)
  • Climate Crisis and Journalism