Digital Pay-Meter Playbook

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

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

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.

map courtesy of Open Street Maps

Understanding Douma

The New Media Propaganda Wars and the Value of a Second Draft Read the paper A new paper by James Harkin, Joan Shorenstein Fellow (Fall, 2018) and Director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London explores current debates about…

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?

Big Tech and Democracy: The Critical Role of Congress

In March 2019, two projects at Harvard Kennedy School—the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project at the Belfer Center and the Platform Accountability Project at the Shorenstein Center—hosted a workshop for Congressional staff to identify and discuss policy approaches to the dilemmas of big tech platforms.

Assessing Campaign Quality: Was the 2016 Presidential Campaign a Travesty?

By Roderick P. Hart, Fall 2018 Shorenstein Fellow and Shivers Chair in Communication and Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin This essay is forthcoming as part of a special symposium on Campaign 2016 to be published in the…

Platform Accountability: An Interim Measure

Download the PDF of this paper here. Introduction The major digital platform companies present a large, complicated array of benefits and problems for the country and the world. The companies increasingly have the attention of both average citizens and senior-most…

Can Cities Save the Census? A Local Framework for Our Nation’s First Digital Count

With trust in federal government and institutions at historic lows, local governments, including cities and counties, must play a critical role in the 2020 Census. If we don’t get the census right, there is so much we are at risk of getting wrong – the implications of which will last for years.

Estimating the Effect of Asking About Citizenship on the U.S. Census

The 2020 U.S. Census will, for the first time since 1950, ask about residents’ citizenship status. The effect of doing so on census completion across different racial/ethnic groups is, however, unknown. Leveraging a survey experiment, we are the first to assess the causal effect of this question change.