News Business & Practices Research
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
By Mike Beaudet and John Wihbey
The growing crisis in U.S. local news is making it increasingly urgent that local television outlets both improve the quality of news produced and chart a path toward a sustainable future in which new audiences are recruited. In this research report, John Wihbey and Mike Beaudet show how local broadcasters might rethink story segments to create a more engaging news product for younger audiences, particularly with regard to hard news stories.
After nearly a decade of decrying email as a rusty old relic of the early internet days, journalists and media outlets are coming to rely more and more on the email newsletter as the backbone of their audience engagement and growth strategies. Over the last year, the Single Subject News Project, part of the News Business Models team at the Shorenstein Center, has been looking at how small nonprofit newsrooms are using email, and specifically email newsletters.
By George Twumasi, Fall 2018 Joan Shorenstein Fellow
The Brain Trust Initiative is a vision to unleash the power of digital media as a force for change across sub-saharan Africa. Abstract: Media in sub-Saharan Africa is at a crossroads. Journalism as a change agent within sub-Saharan Africa has…
By Heidi Legg, Director of Special Projects at the Shorenstein Center and Joe Kerwin, Harvard College Senior, Dunster House
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. The views expressed in the Shorenstein Center Fellows Research Paper Series are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Kennedy School or of Harvard University. Fellows…
Andrew Gruen, Research Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and Principal Consultant, Working Paper; and Aisha Townes, Data Science Consultant to the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
Abstract: This paper analyzes the changes in traffic from Facebook to non- profit news organizations before and after the major change to the Facebook News Feed in January 2018, implemented in response to the controversy over fake news dissemination from Russian…