Shorenstein Center Media and Politics Podcast
Shorenstein Center Media and Politics Podcast
Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy
The Shorenstein Center Media and Politics Podcast features insight and expertise from leading voices at the intersection of media, politics and public policy. Prominent journalists, editors and academics address topics such as the media industry, campaigns and politics, foreign policy, race and gender, and technology.
Untying Knots: Episode 2 - Voter Oppression and Suppression: A Living Case Study in Georgia
In this episode of Untying Knots, Erica Licht and Nikhil Raguveera take a closer look at the history of institutional racism in US voting, as well as its specific iterations in the state of Georgia. Their conversations with key staff at the ACLU of Georgia and the New Georgia Project reveal how the two organizations are amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color voters, and striving to eliminate racist barriers in current and future elections.
Sep 25
47 min
Untying Knots: Episode 1 - Transforming Wealth Inequity Through Anti-Racist Funding
Hosts: Nikhil Raghuveera and Erica Licht Featuring: Karla Nicholson (Haymarket People’s Fund) and Lucas Turner-Owens (Boston Ujima Project) Hundreds of years of racist institutional policies have denied wealth to Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. In this current period of uprising, resistance, and crisis on racial injustice, organizational leaders are asking: what does it look like to make structural change for racial justice? Two organizations in Boston, the Haymarket People’s Fund and the Boston Ujima Project, provide a critical model for applying an anti-racist lens to operations, mission, ongoing learning, and accountability. In the first episode of Untying Knots, recent Harvard Kennedy School MPA graduates and hosts Nikhil Raghuveera and Erica Licht (of the IARA Project Team at the Shorenstein Center) take a closer look at the history of institutional racism in lending, and efforts locally to re-think radical redistribution of power and resources. Interviews with key staff at both organizations reveal how they translate their mission to anti-racist funding mechanisms. Haymarket’s story demonstrates a twenty year organizational journey of working towards anti-racist change, and Ujima provides a model for equitable community lending. The Untying Knots Podcast explores how people and organizations are reimagining society and dismantling systems of oppression.   Notes: Untying Knots is a collaboration between Nikhil Raghuveera and Erica Licht. It is supported by Dr. Megan Ming Francis. Thanks to Karla Nicholson, Lucas Turner- Owens, Carolyn Chou and Alex Papali. Learn More: Haymarket People’s Fund: Boston Ujima Project: People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond: Asian American Resource Workshop: Music: Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
Jul 10
40 min
Big, If True: Disappointingly, Steak-umm is Not a Talking Steak.
"Big, If True" is a webinar series from the Technology and Social Change Research Project at the Shorenstein Center. Hosted by Dr. Joan Donovan, the series focuses on media manipulation, disinformation, and the future of democracy during a pandemic. In this special episode, Dr. Donovan talks with Jesse Bender, a manager for Steak-umms' Twitter account, about the brand's recent success with viral messaging combating misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic. What roles are brand social media accounts playing in today's information ecosystem? How does a sliced frozen meat product become a trusted voice of reason and leader of an online community (and what, exactly, is the Steak-umms community)? Listen in to find out!
Apr 21
28 min
Preserving America's Thought Leader Magazines
Magazines that cover American public affairs, culture, and life have long held an important place in American journalism. But the magazine industry, like the rest of journalism, has struggled in recent years.  This special edition of our podcast is an audio version of Heidi Legg's new Shorenstein Center Paper "Preserving America's Thought Leader Magazines." The paper starts with a brief history of the thought leader magazine with an emphasis on how they built trust, which is key to attracting loyal readers. The discussion then turns to  brand affinity, as it relates to trust and affects revenue streams. Finally, the paper examines how six leading thought leader magazines – New York Magazine, Mother Jones, Wired, The Information, The Atlantic, and Rolling Stone – are all responding to changing public demand and delivery.  Thanks to Harvard College student Andrew Zucker for producing this audio paper.
Mar 25
1 hr 32 min
News Narratives in a Post-Factual Era
How does news and truth survive, when trust in what is fact has suffered and people live in bubbles of isolated realities fed by polarized and fragmented media sources? What is the role of narrative storytelling in this new media landscape?  Thomas Patterson is the Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard Kennedy School, and the author of the recent book "How America Lost Its Mind: The Assault on Reason that is Crippling America." He talks with former Shorenstein Center Fellow and Filmmaker-in-Residence Gabriel London, whose paper titled "Hanging by a Thread: Serialized Narratives in a Post-Factual Era" was just published at 
Mar 11
38 min
On the Trail of Xi Jinping
Jane Perlez, former Beijing Bureau Chief for The New York Times, witnessed Xi Jinping's rise to power during her seven years reporting from China. Her new podcast, On the Trail of Xi Jinping, follows China's current leader, and how the West got him so wrong. For a full transcript of this podcast visit
Dec 19, 2019
37 min
The Landscape of Local News Models in America
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. In this special edition of our podcast, Heidi Legg, the Shorenstein Center's Director of Special Projects, reads her new landscape study on local news models across America. 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. To read the full print version of the paper, visit
Jul 9, 2019
1 hr 28 min
Streaming War Won: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the news
Shorenstein Center Spring 2019 Fellow Edward F. O'Keefe served most recently as Senior Vice President of Content Development at CNN, previously worked as a reporter at ABC News and editor in chief of Now This, and is a media industry expert in mobile, short-form video, OTT and streaming content. His research as a Shorenstein Fellow has focused on why news may be the key to winning the streaming video wars, and who is doing news (even if they don't call it that) in the streaming universe to-date.  In this special episode of the Shorenstein Center Media & Politics Podcast, Ed O'Keefe reads his paper "Streaming War Won" in its (very engaging) entirety.   For the original, written, version of this paper visit
Apr 29, 2019
1 hr 14 min
Garrett Graff: Decoding the Mueller Investigation
Shorenstein Center director Nicco Mele speaks to Garrett M. Graff, journalist, historian, and director of the Aspen Institute's Cybersecurity and Technology Program, about the Mueller Investigation: what we know, what we still don't know, and what's next.  This Shorenstein Center Speaker Series event was recorded April 2, 2019, at Harvard Kennedy School.  Music ("Skip a Beat" by Intimidation) provided by   
Apr 3, 2019
1 hr
Behind the Reporting: South Bend Tribune and ProPublica's "Criminal Justice in Elkhart, Indiana"
Reporting from the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica revealed deep flaws and abuses of power in the criminal justice system in Elkhart, Indiana – from new revelations in the wrongful convictions of two men, to the promotions of police supervisors with serious disciplinary records, to the mishandling of police misconduct cases. The investigation led to the resignation of the police chief, criminal charges against two officers and plans for an independent investigation of the department, demonstrating the strong, immediate impact that investigative journalism can have at the local level – and its ability to force critical changes in communities. Read this excellent example of collaborative journalism here: Heidi Legg talked to reporter Christian Sheckler from the south Bend Tribune, and Ken Armstrong from ProPublica, about the deep searches they did through public records to find evidence of misconduct, and the collaborative experience of reporting this story at the South Bend Tribune - a local newspaper with only 12 reporters.   This episode is part of the Shorenstein Center's special series of interviews with the finalists for the 2019 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Journalism. The Goldsmith Prize winner will be announced at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government on March 12, 2019. Music provided by
Mar 11, 2019
18 min
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