News Business & Practices Research

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.

A Landscape Study of Local News Models Across America

July 3, 2019, 11:19 am
By Heidi Legg, Director of Special Projects at the Shorenstein Center

Local journalism is in crisis, off and online. Years of downsizing in the face of digital disruption have weakened regional and local news organizations. But there are a few glimpses of hope in models for local news across the country. This landscape study includes over 40 mini case studies on outlets that are making the shift, starting fresh, or experimenting with new ways to survive and thrive.

Small is Beautiful

June 3, 2019, 2:47 pm
Markus Somm, Spring 2019 Shorenstein Fellow

The decline of the legacy media started long before the Internet, but the Internet exposed a business model that relied too heavily on the wrong customers. This paper argues that subscription might be the only viable business model for digital media in the long run, but a small circulation might be large enough to make news outlets sustainable. Small is beautiful.

Streaming War Won

April 29, 2019, 5:14 pm

Every era and every new medium — print, radio, television, cable, and the Internet — has found news essential to building and keeping audience. What does news on streaming, direct-to-consumer, and social look like — and what it could look like in the future?

Broadband Everywhere

March 5, 2019, 11:26 am
Jim Cashel

Internet access is coming to the other half of the planet through rapid expansion of broadband technologies. Media organizations that recognize the speed and reach of this expansion will enjoy major new and positive opportunities. In this paper, Shorenstein Fellow Jim Cashel reviews the expanding network of broadband access, and makes recommendations for media companies adapting to this new global reality.