Patricia Phalen

Pat Phalen
Assistant Director, Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs
MPA 413
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Politics and Popular Culture; Hollywood Television Production; Women in Media; Audience Research

Read her full CV here  | Office Hours: Mondays 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. and by appointment.

Patricia Phalen taught at Ohio University until 1998, when she joined the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University. Dr. Phalen has served as the Associate Director, Director of Graduate Studies and Assistant Director of SMPA. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on media organizations and audiences, connections between Hollywood and politics, and the interdependence of media, democracy and culture.

Professor Phalen earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern's Department of Radio/Television/Film during the university's "Rosebowl Season" of 1996. Prior to acquiring her doctorate, Phalen worked in media planning at Foote, Cone & Belding, and in audience research at WTTW, Chicago's largest public television station. Her research at GW combines this industry experience with scholarship in the field of Media Industry Studies.

Professor Phalen has published articles in the Journal of Media Economics, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, the American Journal of Political Science, Political Communication and The Journal of Radio Studies. She also is the co-author of Ratings Analysis: The Theory and Practice of Audience Research, (3rd Edition) (with J. Webster and L. Lichty, 2006) and Rating Analysis: Audience Measurement and Analytics, (4thEdition) (with J. Webster and L. Lichty, 2014). 

Dr. Phalen is the 2018 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Barry Sherman Teaching Award recipient for innovative teaching on media management, economics or entrepreneurship. She is also active in the Broadcast Education Association, the World Media Economics & Management Conference and the International Communication Association. Her expertise is in politics and popular culture, Hollywood television production, women in media and audience research. She developed two popular Dean's Seminars at GW, "Hollywood & Politics" and "Media, Democracy & Culture."

A native New Englander, Professor Phalen claims both Connecticut and Massachusetts as her "home state." Her fondest memories of growing up in the Boston area include basketball and hockey games at the Boston Garden and victory parades for the Celtics and Bruins. She is a lifetime fan of all Boston teams--including the Red Sox.    


Ph.D., Radio-TV-Film, Northwestern University, 1996
M.A., Telecommunications Science, Management and Policy, Northwestern University, 1991
M.B.A., Boston College, 1983
B.A., Boston College, 1980



Writing Hollywood: The Work and Professional Culture of Television Writers. Patricia F. Phalen. (2018). Routledge. 

Rating Analysis: Audience Measurement and Analytics, (4th Edition). Patricia F. Phalen, James G. Webster, and Lawrence W. Lichty. (2014). Routledge. 

Rating Analysis: The Theory and Practice of Audince Research, (3rd Edition). Patricia F. Phalen, James G. Webster, and Lawrence W. Lichty. (2006). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Trading Time and Money for Information in the Television Advertising Market: Strategies and Consequences, in Time and Media Markets. edited by Alan B. Albarran and Angel Arrese. (2003). Routledge. 

Journal Articles

"Women of influence: A case study of three telecommunications policymakers." Patricia F. Phalen, Julia Osellame, and Catherine Anderson. (2014). Telecommunications Policy. Volume 38, Issue 6, pp. 333-343.

"The Narrative Reconstruction of 9/11 in Hollywood Films: Independent Voice or Official Interpretation?" Patricia F. Phalen, Maria Teresa LaPorte, and Mario Fargo. (2010). Javnost: The Public, Vol. 17, Issue 3, pp. 57-70.

"Using Substitutes for Full-Text News Stories in Content Analysis: Which Text is Best?" Patricia F. Phalen, Scott Althaus, and Jill Edy. (2001). American Journal of Politcal Science. Vol. 45, Issue. 3, pp. 707-723.

"(Ms)taking Context for Content: Framing the Fourth World Conference on Women." Patricial F. Phalen and Ece Algan. (2001). Political Communication. Vol 18, Issue 3, pp. 301-319.

Additional Publications

"Conservatives rarer than women on TV: Column." (2014). USA Today.

Classes Taught

SMPA 1001 Hollywood & Politics (Dean’s Seminar)
SMPA 1001 Media, Democracy & Culture (Dean’s Seminar)
SMPA 1050 Media in a Free Society (Undergraduate)
SMPA 3194/6250 Media Organizations & Audiences (Undergraduate & Graduate)
Hollywood & Politics (Graduate)
Audience Research