Student Media Initiative

Do you want to learn how to blend policy prowess with media expertise?


Do you want to engage with the best of Harvard faculty and resources in sharpening your storytelling and journalistic expertise to better engage with the world of policy and politics?


The newly launched Student Media Initiative (SMI) at Harvard Kennedy School creates the opportunity to explore the use of different forms of media to advance public policy understanding and debate.

SMI offers an experiential learning environment for students to build skills in research, writing, interviewing, editing, data visualization, web development, social media promotion, design, podcasting, and other tools and techniques of media and communication. It has never been easier to reach audiences all over the world and present compelling ideas in engaging and memorable ways. This program allows students to collaborate with one another, with faculty, fellows and the broader HKS community in creating content that elevates and advances the public discourse.


SMI offers students opportunities to get hands-on experience through programming including:

  • core media trainings (audio and video editing, sound editing and mixing, on-camera work, podcast development, writing),
  • talks with experts from across all channels of media (TV news, audio journalism, print/digital journalism, social media, etc.),
  • talks with experts and faculty from both the Kennedy School and the broader Harvard community

This page will be updated with information on specific events as we plan programming throughout the year


The student-run journals and student newspaper at Harvard Kennedy School are a critical component of SMI and provide opportunities for students to research, write, develop policy expertise and publish their experiences and opinions. In addition, student editors have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members who help advise and guide students as they work on their publications.  

Click here to learn more about the journals and how to get involved.

Faculty Chair

SMI’s Faculty Chair is Shorenstein Center Director and HKS Professor of Practice Nancy Gibbs –  

  • Until September of 2017, Nancy was the Editor in Chief of TIME, directing news and feature coverage across all platforms for more than 65 million readers worldwide, as well as Editorial Director of the Time Inc. News Group.  
  • Gibbs has also served as a consultant to CBS News and an essayist for the News Hour on PBS. 
  • She is the co-author, along with Michael Duffy, of two best-selling presidential histories: The President’s Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity (2012), which spent 30 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, and The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House (2007). 
  • She has interviewed five U.S. presidents and multiple other world leaders, and is the author of the most TIME cover stories of any writer in the magazine’s history.

Get Involved


Upcoming Events

Check back soon or sign up to receive email alerts about SMI events. 

Contact Us

SMI’s staff are always happy to talk with students, faculty, and organizations about their interests and potential connections. Please reach out to us. You can also join our mailing list, follow us on Twitter, or check out our programming wherever we post our content.