News Business & Practice Publications

Public Media Mergers Playbook

January 14, 2021, 11:00 am
Dr. Elizabeth Hansen and Emily Roseman

As local journalism continues to struggle to find a new economic footing, public media is one stalwart ally and anchor in the new local journalism landscape. This Playbook draws on a year of research to highlight one way public media stations and local, digital newsrooms can join forces to provide a new level of local service to their communities.

Self-Optimization in the Face of Patriarchy: How Mainstream Women’s Media Facilitates White Feminism

January 5, 2021, 9:10 am
Koa Beck, Spring 2019 Joan Shorenstein Fellow

The capitalistic, corporate, individualistic narratives of fourth-wave and white feminism are communicated and reinforced by mainstream women’s media. Koa Beck is the former Editor-in-Chief of, and was a Joan Shorenstein Fellow in Spring 2019. This paper informed and became part of her new book “White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind.”

A Tale of Two Elections: CBS and Fox News’ Portrayal of the 2020 Presidential Campaign

December 17, 2020, 12:43 pm
Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press

Although it is often said that the United States today has a mainstream news system and a conservative news system, these labels don’t fully capture how CBS and Fox covered the 2020 campaign. Their coverage is the tale of two elections, says Thomas E. Patterson, Harvard Kennedy School Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, in the latest installment of his decades-long research on campaign media coverage.

The National Trust for Local News

October 4, 2020, 4:40 pm
Elizabeth Hansen, Marc Hand

Proposing a new framework for newspaper ownership and governance that leverages national capital markets and supports accountability and decision-making in local communities.

Building Compelling Value Propositions for Digital Media Subscriptions and Memberships

May 1, 2020, 3:50 pm
Korey Te Hira, HKS MPP 2019

This is a student-authored paper which was written under the mentorship of Harvard Kennedy School faculty members. It has not undergone formal review and is published here for discussion purposes and to highlight the work of Kennedy School students. Korey…

Preserving America’s Thought Leader Magazines

March 25, 2020, 2:40 pm
Heidi Legg

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…

Hanging by a Thread: Serialized Narratives in a Post-Factual Era

March 11, 2020, 5:09 pm
Gabriel London, Shorenstein Center Fellow and Filmmaker-in-Residence 2018-2019

In today’s media saturated culture, storytelling itself has become the story. It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure moment, and the stories we choose – and that choose us – have real implications on how our democracy works.

Case Study: Mother Jones

December 9, 2019, 10:00 am

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…

The Commons: Student Workshop Reimagines Political Media

December 3, 2019, 10:42 am

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

August 13, 2019, 8:47 am

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.