The Shorenstein Center aims to make an impact on a few distinct areas of focus, each of which are integral to maintaining a healthy information ecosystem and strong democracy. The currently-active research projects outlined below cover a breadth of topics that are currently affecting the information ecosystem, trust in news, the journalism industry, and access to truth in our democratic societies.
Launched in 2013 and led by faculty director Todd Rogers, the Behavioral Insights Group (BIG) brings together Harvard’s outstanding group of decision research scholars, behavioral economists, and other behavioral scientists to focus their energies on improving how decisions are made, both by leaders, and by individuals. BIG is driven by the belief that improving the quality of our leaders’ decisions is a core lever we possess to improve the world.
Led by Professor Sharad Goel, the Computational Policy Lab uses technology to tackle pressing issues in criminal justice, education, voting rights, and beyond. By bringing a computational perspective to public policy, they aim to improve the lives of millions of people — especially those affected by inefficient and unfair systems and practices.
The COVID States Project is a nationwide, 50-state survey of opinions related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has been in the field regularly since March of 2020. It is run by a multi-university collaboration including Harvard Kennedy School, Northeastern University, Rutgers University, Harvard Medical School, and Northwestern University.
The Democracy and Internet Governance Initiative (DIGI) is a research effort that examines the role of digital platforms in society, their governance structures, and their impact. Through convenings, workshops, and interviews, the DIGI project aims to foster a dialogue on societal issues related to digital platforms to promote public purpose.
Documentary films have become a driving media through which people understand politics, culture and the issues of our time. The Shorenstein Center’s program is examining issues facing documentary film practice, its media ecosystem and its role in civic life.
The Shorenstein Center’s Fellowship program brings journalists, academics, and practitioners in the fields of media, politics and public policy to the Kennedy School to engage with the Center’s research projects, faculty, students, and the broader university community.
A well-informed citizenry is essential for a healthy democracy. But are today’s news sources providing the information, analysis, and context needed to help Americans make informed decisions? As newsrooms shrink, journalists struggle to build expertise in the wide variety of topics they often are called on to cover. The Journalist’s Resource is a project of the Shorenstein Center aimed at bridging the gap between journalism and academia. Its primary goal is helping journalists improve their work by relying more often on scientific evidence and high-quality, peer-reviewed research.
The HKS Misinformation Review is the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing multidisciplinary research on mis- and disinformation. It operates on a “fast peer review” process that ensures the academic rigor of the articles but on much faster timeline than traditional academic publishing, because the research being published is timely and of great importance to practitioners currently working to combat disinformation and its effects.
The Shorenstein Center News Leaders Program harnesses the center’s convening power to empower news creators across sectors at a time when the industry is undergoing massive change. Through its network of media executives, thought leaders, and influencers, as well as its faculty of decision scientists, journalists, political scientists, technology scholars, and practitioners, the Shorenstein Center News Leaders program provides a framework for media stakeholders to imagine and build the future of news consumption.
Through its annual series of prizes and lectures, the Shorenstein Center recognizes the best journalists and authors working today, as well as politicians making a difference in the realm of public policy.
The Public Interest Tech Lab at Harvard is housed at the Shorenstein Center and contributes to the lively intellectual atmosphere of the Center. Led by Professor Latanya Sweeney, the lab aims to train future leaders in public policy and technology about the ways that technology works and its intended and unintended consequences for public interest and public good.
The Shorenstein Center’s Student Media Initiative offers students at the Kennedy School the opportunity to explore the use of different forms of media to advance public policy understanding and debate. SMI offers experiential learning opportunities through the student journals program, as well as workshops and trainings, and connections with journalists and other working media practitioners.