The Shorenstein Center News Lab harnesses the convening power of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy 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 News Lab provides a framework for media stakeholders to imagine and build the future of news consumption.
News media is everywhere and nowhere these days. News is delivered through TikTok and TVs, via WhatsApp and ChatGPT, directly to your inbox through a newsletter and whispered into your ear by podcasters. The ecosystem that makes up traditional news media is undergoing immense change, as the advertising model that has supported journalism for two centuries falls apart and high-quality journalism increasingly relies on direct audience support to stay afloat. Algorithms and social media have transformed what counts as news, how news gets delivered, and what kind of news gets covered. Amid all this change, the old rules for how to produce important journalism collide with the realities of the era. News media is trying to adapt but has no roadmap for what comes next and no system for working together as an industry to take control of its own future.
News Lab provides a crucial space for leaders in the media industry to discuss, debate, and decide the fate of an industry that’s a critical part of a healthy democratic society. Throughout its nearly 40 year history, the Center has served as a venue for such discussion and exploration, and from 2021-2023 offered a specialized series of private briefings focused on combatting media manipulation and disinformation. Heading into 2024, as the social media era unravels, we are eager to expand and build upon that foundation to create a new, necessary space for media leaders —not only traditional newsrooms but also social media influencers, filmmakers, podcasters – to convene and strategize and learn about how best to move forward in uncharted waters.
Collaborating with the faculty and staff across the Harvard Kennedy School and the university at large, the SCNL program will become a forge within which new media strategies and insights can be shaped.
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