Patricia Phalen

Pat Phalen

Patricia Phalen

Assistant Director, Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs


Office Phone: (202) 994-4016
805 21st Street, NW, MPA 519 Washington DC 20052

Read her full CV here  | Office Hours: Please email for an appointment.

Dr. Patricia Phalen brings over 25 years of experience researching the intersection of media, culture, and human behavior. A lifelong interest in writing about human life experiences that captivate, inspire and offer thought-provoking conversations has led her to work in academia, television, and government. Her academic research focuses on the economic sociology of mass media organizations, particularly the various occupational cultures at work in television production.

As Assistant Director of the School of Media & Public Affairs (SMPA) and Associate Professor at The George Washington University, Dr. Phalen uses the unique ability of bringing in humor to connect with her audience, delivering deep analysis of human relationships in professional and popular culture. Dr. Phalen currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses at GWU which include “Hollywood & Politics,” “Media Organizations & Audiences,” and “Media in a Free Society.” Her work expands country-wide and globally through presentations at media conferences and invited lectures in the U.S., Europe, Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Recognized for her prolific research, she has been featured in numerous academic journals such as The Journal of Media Economics, The Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Telecommunications Policy, The Journal of Popular Culture, Political Communication and The Journal of Radio Studies. Her work has also been featured in Fortune and USA Today, and cited in a number of popular press articles.

Dr. Phalen has a Masters and PhD in Radio/Television/Film from Northwestern University, and a BA and MBA from Boston College. Her latest book is Writing Hollywood: The Work and Professional Culture of Television Writers, (2018, Routledge). She is co-author of two others, Ratings Analysis: The Theory and Practice of Audience Research (now in its 4th edition) and The Mass Audience: Rediscovering the Dominant Model.

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

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


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.

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