Student Media Initiative

Experiential learning opportunities in media production and publication for HKS students 


The newly launched Student Media Initiative (SMI) at the Shorenstein Center 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.

The HKS Student Policy Review

The HKS Student Policy Review is the cornerstone of SMI and provide opportunities for students to research, write, develop policy expertise and publish their experiences and opinions.

The Student Media Initiative (SMI) at the Shorenstein Center is designed to provide substantive experiential learning opportunities for students in media production and publication. By exploring different forms of media and communication on an experiential level, students will be better equipped to navigate the information environment and to lead, both in their professional and personal lives. 

To learn more, contact Program Coordinator Max Boland.


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

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

Shorenstein Center 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.