Dr. Bates' main interests lie in the interrelationship of media systems and society and the role played by policy in shaping their development. He primarily teaches courses in media and information economics & industries, policy, and new technologies, as well as communication theory and research.
His research has examined the economics of broadcast policy, traditional media and the Internet, the development of new media world-wide, and communication and information policy issues affecting that development. Recent work has focused on broadcasting & new media, particularly the Internet & WWW, and information economics and policy, particularly copyright.
This work has led to appointments as an Adjunct in the School of Information Science at UT, as well as the Sir David Beattie/Ericsson Professorial Research Fellowship at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand.
He previously taught at the University of Salzburg (on faculty exchange), the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere in Finland (as a Fulbright Senior Scholar), and has been on the faculty of Texas Tech University (where he also served as Director of the Institute for Communication Research), the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Michigan State University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Rutgers University. He has also worked for a broadcast management consulting firm and has held positions at several college radio stations.
He has published in the Journal of Media Economics, The Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journalism Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, The Communication Yearbook, and Information and Behavior book series, The Hong Kong Economic Journal, and Telecommunications Policy, and is working on books on cable and multichannel video delivery systems and the social economics of intellectual property policy. He has written chapters for books on the economics of information and media, and the development of telecommunication systems. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Media Economics, where he is also a founding member of the editorial board,JMM - the International Journal of Media Management, and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, as well as reviewing regularly for a range of other journals and academic publishers. He has been an active member of AEJMC (where he is past head of the Communication Technology & Policy division), ICA, MAPOR, and BEA (where he is past head of the Research Division), and helped to found the Association of Internet Researchers (where he served as the first Treasurer).
Prof. Bates currently writes and maintains the Media Business & the Future of Journalism blog, in connection with the JEM capstone course of the same name. That blog has been recognized by the International Journal of Media Management as one of the top blogs in the field.