Skip to main content

Annenberg’s Phyllis Kaniss – 1951-2010

Phyllis Kaniss, Ph.D., executive director of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, a longtime teaching faculty member at the Annenberg School for Communication, died Friday, December 17, after a long battle with cancer. She was 59-years-old.
Dr. Kaniss is the author of Making Local News (University of Chicago Press, 1991) and The Media and the Mayor’s Race: The Failure of Urban Political Reporting (Indiana University Press, 1995), which won the 1995 Bart Richards Award for media criticism. In 1999, she created the Student Voices Project, a youth civic engagement initiative of the Annenberg Public Policy Center that worked with school systems in cities throughout the country. Dr. Kaniss received a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctoral degree in Regional Science from Cornell University.
You can read a tribute to Dr. Kaniss that appeared in the December 19 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer, and offer a message of condolence via the Annenberg school web site.
A funeral service for Dr. Kaniss will be held on Thursday, December 23 at Goldstein’s Funeral Home located at 6410 North Broad Street, Philadelphia. The family will be receiving condolences beginning at noon. The service will start at 1 p.m. Plans are underway for a memorial service to be held at Penn in January or February.
The family kindly requests that donations in memory of Phyllis support an undergraduate scholarship for a student interested in journalism at the University of Pennsylvania. Please note that your gift is in memory of Dr. Phyllis C. Kaniss. Donations may be sent to the University of Pennsylvania, Undergraduate Financial Aid Development, 3451 Walnut St., 634B Franklin Bldg., Phila., PA 19104, or online at