The Final Verdict on U.S. Newspapers’ Paywall Experiment: The Impact ofCOVID-19

Dr. Iris Chyi—The Final Verdict on U.S. Newspapers’ Paywall Experiment: The Impact of COVID-19

*Thursday, February 25th, 3:30 - 4:45 PM*

Research has documented a persistent problem facing U.S. newspapers—that is, users’ lukewarm response to digital news offerings. In contrast, the print edition, despite continued disinvestment and dramatic price hikes, to everyone’s surprise, remained the most consumed format and the primary revenue driver for the vast majority of newspapers. Has COVID-19 dramatically changed that and narrowed the persistent print-digital gap? The answer is likely the final verdict on newspapers’ paywall experiment, carrying important implications for the future of newspapers.

After the talk concludes at 4:45, Chyi will chat with interested grad students for an additional half hour about careers, research, professional development and more. She welcomes questions!

Iris Chyi is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in media economics and her work focuses on user demand for multiplatform newspapers. She examined the viability of digital subscriptions and revealed a strong attachment to the print product among newspaper readers. Her “Ramen Noodles Theory” suggests that online news, like ramen noodles, is an inferior good. Her book, Trial and Error: U.S. Newspapers’ Digital Struggles toward Inferiority, challenges U.S. newspapers’ technology-driven strategy, calling for a critical reassessment of the future of the industry.

Thursday, February 25 at 3:30pm to 4:45pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Academics, Arts & Humanities


Moody College of Communication, Journalism, Radio-Television-Film

Target Audience

Students, Faculty, General Public

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