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Iris Chyi: “(Perhaps) the Final Verdict on U.S. Newspapers’ Paywall Experiment: The Impact of COVID-19”

February 25, 2021 @ 3:30 pm - 4:35 pm CST

Iris Chyi: “(Perhaps) the Final Verdict on U.S. Newspapers’ Paywall Experiment: The Impact of COVID-19”

Global Media Industry Speaker Series and the RTF Media Studies Colloquium present a talk by Iris Chyi, Associate Professor, UT Austin School of Journalism & Media.

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.

Join via Zoom.


February 25, 2021
3:30 pm - 4:35 pm CST
Event Category:


Target Audience
Faculty, Students
Digital Media, Industry

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