The 2020 Thomas Jay Harris Distinguished Lecture Series was held Friday, March 6 at 11:30 a.m. at the International Cultural Center at Texas Tech University and featured speaker Robert G. Picard, Ph.D., an established academic expert on media management and economics.
Hosted annually by the Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic & International Communication, the Harris Distinguished Lecture Series is an annual event that invites national and international leaders to Texas Tech campus to serve as speakers and to lead seminars and discussion groups on current issues of global relevance.
Picard's talk was titled, “The Gathering Storm: Digital Media, Platforms and Antitrust Enforcement.”
“This topic is a worldwide issue which involves antitrust competition and how it impacts the markets, especially when you add the role of digital media into the mix,” Picard said.
“Economic markets work best if there is competition since this leads to the balance of power between the companies and the other players,” he added. “And there are big implications for both consumers and the market.”
Picard is a senior research fellow at the Reuters Institute in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, and an affiliated fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.
“The Harris Institute has wanted to bring a focus onto the social science side of study for some time and Dr. Picard is a well-known scholar in media management and economics,” said Kent Wilkinson, Ph.D., professor and director of the Harris Institute. “You can't ignore economics in commercial industry. You've got to keep the lights on somehow.”
“He was one of the first academics to bring economics and media theory together, just in time for the digitization of the industry,” he said.
Todd Chambers, Ph.D., associate professor and associate dean for undergraduate affairs, concurs with Wilkinson about Picard's position in industry.
“It's not that often that you get an opportunity to interact with the expert in an area, but Dr. Robert Picard is ‘the expert' in the discipline of media economics,” Chambers said. “In addition, his leadership in research, teaching and consulting has helped establish media economics as a well-respected academic field in media and communication.”
Picard is the author or editor of more than 30 books and has written numerous articles on media issues for both academic journals and industry publications. He established the Journal of Media Economics as founding editor and currently serves on the editorial boards of several journals.
Picard has served as a consultant for private industries and government agencies in both North America and Europe. He has also testified before congressional and parliamentary committees and provided expert testimony on issues of media concentration and pluralism.
He has been recognized with several awards, including the Award of Honor for lifetime contributions to the field from the Journal of Media Economics, and an award for lifetime contributions from the European Media Management Education Association.
Picard will be the fourth speaker since the series' inception. Past speakers have included Angharad N. Valdivia, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Nicolás Kanellos, Ph.D., from the University of Houston, and Silvio R. Waisbord Ph.D., from George Washington University.
Established in 2006, the Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic & International Communication promotes better understanding of Hispanic-related and international media communication through research, teaching and community outreach, according to its website. It is named after Thomas Jay Harris, a former editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, who was an advocate of international and cross-cultural education.
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