Policy & Issues Research

Big Tech and Democracy: The Critical Role of Congress

April 23, 2019, 11:24 am

In March 2019, two projects at Harvard Kennedy School—the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project at the Belfer Center and the Platform Accountability Project at the Shorenstein Center—hosted a workshop for Congressional staff to identify and discuss policy approaches to the dilemmas of big tech platforms.

Platform Accountability: An Interim Measure

April 15, 2019, 10:02 am
Philip Verveer, Shorenstein Center Research Fellow

Download the PDF of this paper here. Introduction The major digital platform companies present a large, complicated array of benefits and problems for the country and the world. The companies increasingly have the attention of both average citizens and senior-most…

Can Cities Save the Census? A Local Framework for Our Nation’s First Digital Count

April 1, 2019, 9:41 am

With trust in federal government and institutions at historic lows, local governments, including cities and counties, must play a critical role in the 2020 Census. If we don’t get the census right, there is so much we are at risk of getting wrong – the implications of which will last for years.

Estimating the Effect of Asking About Citizenship on the U.S. Census

March 21, 2019, 1:21 pm

The 2020 U.S. Census will, for the first time since 1950, ask about residents’ citizenship status. The effect of doing so on census completion across different racial/ethnic groups is, however, unknown. Leveraging a survey experiment, we are the first to assess the causal effect of this question change.

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.

Platform Accountability and Contemporary Competition Law: Practical Considerations

November 20, 2018, 4:03 pm
By Philip Verveer, Visiting Fellow, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy

Introduction “As you know, many people think it is a very antitrust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.”  President Donald Trump with respect to Google, Facebook, and Amazon, interview with Bloomberg News, August 30,…

The Root of the Matter: Data and Duty

November 1, 2018, 5:28 pm
By Tom Wheeler, Senior Research Fellow, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School. 31st Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 2013-2017

Rules for the New Digital Economy Should Look to Old Common Law Traditions There are 39 million books in the Library of Congress. This impressive analog measurement pales in comparison, however, with the realities of the digital world. Every day…

The Fight Against Disinformation in the U.S.: A Landscape Analysis

November 1, 2018, 3:53 pm
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…

Digital Deceit II: A Policy Agenda to Fight Disinformation on the Internet

October 2, 2018, 10:52 am
By Dipayan Ghosh, Research Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy; and Ben Scott, Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Omidyar Network

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 not undergone formal review and approval. Such papers are included in…

Doom and Gloom: The Role of the Media in Public Disengagement on Climate Change

May 29, 2018, 9:00 pm
By Elizabeth Arnold, Joan Shorenstein Fellow, Spring 2018, and Associate Professor of Journalism, University of Alaska

Photo credits: Diane Haeker and Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) Introduction In July of 2008, as a national broadcast correspondent, I reported on environmental conditions in Newtok, a remote community of roughly 400 Yup’ik people in Northwest Alaska. Newtok…