He is the author of Shaping Immigration News: A French-American Comparison (Cambridge, 2013), winner of three book awards: the 2015 International Journal of Press/Politics Best Book Award, the 2014 Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication Tankard Book Award, and the 2014 NYU Steinardt Daniel Griffiths Research Award.
Silvio Waisbord, editor of the Journal of Communication, has praised the book as “a sophisticated, elegant, and evidence-packed cross-national analysis that will be a go-to reference for comparative media research.” Shaping Immigration News was translated into French as L'immigration au prisme des médias (Presses universitaires de Rennes, Res Publica, 2018, preface by Erik Neveu; translated by Bruno Poncharal).
Benson is also editor (with Erik Neveu) of Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field (Polity 2005; Chinese translation summer 2017) and co-author (with Matthew Powers) of Public Media and Political Independence (Free Press, 2011).
He is currently working on a new book, How Media Ownership Matters (Oxford, under contract), with Mattias Hesserus and Julie Sedel. Drawing on interviews and organizational data from Sweden, France, and the United States, the book goes beyond the standard media concentration debate to explore how different forms of media ownership (commercial, civil society, and public) facilitate different types of journalism.
Prior to joining the NYU faculty, he was assistant professor of international communications and sociology at The American University of Paris. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California-Berkeley and an MA in international affairs from Columbia University. His research and theoretical articles have appeared in many leading sociological and media/communications journals, including the American Sociological Review, Theory and Society, American Sociologist, Poetics, American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Communication, Political Communication, and International Journal of Press/Politics. He has also written articles for Le Monde Diplomatique, The Conversation, and the Christian Science Monitor.
- Rodney Benson. 2019. “Rethinking the Sociology of Media Ownership.” In L. Grindstaff, Ming-Cheng M. Lo, and John R. Hall, eds., Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology (London: Routledge): 387-396.
- Rodney Benson. 2019. “Paywalls and Public Knowledge: How Can Journalism Provide Quality News for Everyone?” Journalism 20(1): 146-149.
- Rodney Benson, Timothy Neff, and Mattias Hessérus. 2018. “Media Ownership and Public Service News: How Strong are Institutional Logics?” International Journal of Press/Politics 23(3): 275-298.
- Rodney Benson. 2018. “The Case for Campaign Journalism.” In P. Boczkowski and Z. Papacharissi, eds., Trump and the Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press): 213-220.
- Rodney Benson. 2018. Review of Jeffrey Alexander et al., eds., The Crisis of Journalism Reconsidered(Cambridge, 2016), Contemporary Sociology 47, 1: 38-40.
- Rodney Benson. 2018. Review of Julia Cagé, Saving the Media: Capitalism, Crowdfunding, and Democracy(Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, division of Harvard University Press, 2016). Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 95(2): 520-521.