Ben Haig Bagdikian is an American educator and journalist. Bagdikian has made journalism his profession since 1941. He is a significant American media critic and the dean emeritus of the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. In 1983, Bagdikian published The Media Monopoly, which revealed the fast-moving media conglomeration that was putting more and more media corporations in fewer and fewer hands with each new merger. This work has been updated through six editions before being renamed The New Media Monopoly and is considered a crucial resource for knowledge about media ownership. Bagdikian is credited with the observation that "Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion' on a ukulele."
In 1971, whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg gave Bagdikian â€” then an editor at the Washington Post â€” portions of the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret classified history of the Vietnam War. Bagdikian passed a copy of the documents to Senator Mike Gravel, who promptly read them into the Congressional Record.