a stack of magazines

Preserving America’s Thought Leader Magazines

To read a PDF version of this paper click here. The views expressed in Shorenstein Center Discussion Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Kennedy School or of Harvard University. Discussion Papers have…

Five Tips from Mother Jones

Below are five lessons from MoJo’s experiences that other nonprofit investigative newsrooms can adapt and use.  One: Treat your audience like your public board.  By sharing strategic information like company financials and plans for the future, Mother Jones opened up…

Mother Jones' editor in chief Clara Jeffery (right) talks with Jahna Berry (center), director of news product and Clint Hendler (left), news director after a news meeting on Thursday, March 2, 2017 in San Francisco, Calif.

Case Study: Mother Jones

Creating a Thriving Legacy News Magazine through Mission, Strategy, and Experimentation Case Study co-published by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Institute for Nonprofit News. The views expressed in Shorenstein…

Can Public Media Help Fix Market Failures in Local News?

Can Public Media Help Fix Market Failures in Local News?

The Public Media Merger project is taking an in-depth look at the public media/digital newsroom mergers across the country in the last decade, to understand how they are working (and not working), what it takes to make these mergers successful (and what should be avoided), and what can be learned that will benefit newsrooms in other communities.

The Commons: Student Workshop Reimagines Political Media

The Commons is a prototype of an imagined news outlet covering U.S. politics. It is the product of an eight-week discussion workshop this fall at Harvard led by Adam Moss, Shorenstein fellow and the former editor-in-chief of New York Magazine and…

Digital Pay-Meter Playbook

The past half-decade has seen a digital subscription renaissance in the news publishing industry. Our research suggests publishers should invest in capabilities to engage in constant testing and experimentation in digital — to build engagement among digital audiences and ultimately convert engaged readers into paying subscribers.

A Landscape Study of Local News Models Across America

Local journalism is in crisis, off and online. Years of downsizing in the face of digital disruption have weakened regional and local news organizations. But there are a few glimpses of hope in models for local news across the country. This landscape study includes over 40 mini case studies on outlets that are making the shift, starting fresh, or experimenting with new ways to survive and thrive.

Small is Beautiful

The decline of the legacy media started long before the Internet, but the Internet exposed a business model that relied too heavily on the wrong customers. This paper argues that subscription might be the only viable business model for digital media in the long run, but a small circulation might be large enough to make news outlets sustainable. Small is beautiful.

Streaming War Won

Every era and every new medium — print, radio, television, cable, and the Internet — has found news essential to building and keeping audience. What does news on streaming, direct-to-consumer, and social look like — and what it could look like in the future?

Broadband Everywhere

Internet access is coming to the other half of the planet through rapid expansion of broadband technologies. Media organizations that recognize the speed and reach of this expansion will enjoy major new and positive opportunities. In this paper, Shorenstein Fellow Jim Cashel reviews the expanding network of broadband access, and makes recommendations for media companies adapting to this new global reality.