Area of Expertise
Children and media, media policy, media criticism, Internet and youth, media literacy, entertainment media, media and politics, digital marketing, food marketing and health
Kathryn C. Montgomery is a well-known media scholar and leading public policy advocate. Her recent book, Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce, and Childhood in the Age of the Internet (MIT Press, 2007), explores the myriad ways that young people are engaged with digital media—from instant messaging to cell phones to Facebook and YouTube—and the profound influence these technologies have in their daily lives. The book also addresses a range of key public policy debates about children and media, documenting several major disputes during the 1990s and offering analysis of critical issues such as Internet pornography, television violence, and commercialization. Montgomery’s 2004 report, "Youth as E-Citizens," was the first major study to examine the ways in which young people use the Internet for civic and political engagement. She is conducting research on interactive food and beverage marketing, examining the variety of ways used by companies, the Internet, mobile phones, video games, and other digital technologies to target children and adolescents. (Reports are available at digitalads.org.) Before her move to Washington, D.C., Montgomery was a professor of film and television at UCLA. Her book Target: Prime Time: Advocacy Groups and the Struggle Over Entertainment Television (Oxford University Press, 1989) was a groundbreaking history of the relationship between interest groups and network television. In 1991, she co-founded the Center for Media Education (CME). As president of CME, a role she held until 2003, Montgomery played a lead role in promoting media policies to benefit children and youth. Montgomery's research and policy efforts in e-commerce and electronic privacy led Congress to pass the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in 1998. She continues to participate in public policy proceedings in Washington, D.C., including giving testimony before Congress and at the Federal Trade Commission.