Jason Schmitt is a filmmaker, journalist and professor who concentrates his research toward online education impacting a global audience, open access relating to academic publications, and media industry future trends. As a filmmaker, Schmitt recently completed a grant-funded documentary, "Paywall: The Business of Scholarship," for which he served as producer/director. The film has had 330 public screenings at institutions around the globe and an audience of over 100,000 have watched the film online. Schmitt has given lectures in support of open access of research at venues as diverse as the United Nations, Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the University of Iceland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and Dartmouth College.
Schmitt’s documentary specifically investigates the economic and societal impact of academic publishing, the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier, and how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable technology companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google.
Schmitt’s prior film career found him as the interviewer/field producer for the documentary, "Louder Than Love," a film on the historic rock venue The Grande Ballroom and its influence on rock and roll music. The film was awarded an Emmy in 2016 and has been to more than 35 festivals from Detroit to LA and London to Australia.
As a journalist, Schmitt has written more than 70 pieces for outlets like Forbes Asia, the Huffington Post, EdSurge, BoingBoing, Slate, and EuroDoc.
In addition to writing and film, Schmitt is involved in providing insight and leadership toward startup companies in the digital space and, in 2016, he judged over 1,000 startup pitches and business models for venture capital funding.
Schmitt has two textbooks released in 2018: Purposeful Communication in the Digital Age and Speaking with a Purpose. Both books are published through Routledge.
Bowling Green State University
Eastern Michigan Communication
University of Michigan-Dearborn
In addition to over 60 articles in Forbes, Huffington Post, Slate, and Edsurge, Schmitt is also co-author of Purposeful Communication in a Digital Age (Routledge 2018) and Speaking With A Purpose (Routledge 2017). He is currently working on a new book entitled “DOT EDU: Why Online Education Will Be America’s Next Great Export” as well as a forthcoming 2018 grant funded documentary focused on the lucrative nature of academic publishing.