News Business & Practices Research

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.

Reinventing Local TV News

February 12, 2019, 8:03 am
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.

Email for Newsrooms: A Research Summary

January 16, 2019, 11:17 am

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.

The Brain Trust Initiative

December 19, 2018, 2:33 pm
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…