Upcoming Event

Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy at Harvard Book Store


What Works in Community News:
Media Startups, News Deserts, and the Future of the Fourth Estate


February 26, 2024
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes ELLEN CLEGG—long-time Boston Globe reporter and co-founder of Brookline.News—and DAN KENNEDY—nationally known media commentator and journalism professor at Northeastern University—for a discussion of their new book What Works in Community News: Media Startups, News Deserts, and the Future of the Fourth Estate.

About What Works in Community News

Local news is essential to democracy. Meaningful participation in civic life is impossible without it. However, local news is in crisis. According to one widely cited study, some 2,500 newspapers have closed over the last generation. And it is often marginalized communities of color who have been left without the day-to-day journalism they need to govern themselves in a democracy.

Veteran journalists Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy cut through the pessimism surrounding this issue, showing readers that new, innovative journalism models are popping up across the country to fill news deserts and empower communities. What Works in Community News examines more than a dozen of these projects, including:

  • Sahan Journal, a digital publication dedicated to reporting on Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities;
  • MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit news outlet in Memphis, TN, focused on poverty, power, and public policy;
  • New Haven Independent / WNHH / La Voz Hispana de Connecticut, a digital news project that expanded its reach in the New Haven community through radio and a Spanish-language partnership;
  • Storm Lake Times Pilot, a print newspaper in rural Iowa innovating with a hybrid for-profit/nonprofit model; and
  • Texas Tribune, once a pioneering upstart, now one of the most well-known—and successful—digital newsrooms in the country.

Through a blend of on-the-ground reporting and interviews, Clegg and Kennedy show how these operations found seed money and support, and how they hired staff, forged their missions, and navigated challenges from the pandemic to police intimidation to stand as the last bastion of collective truth—and keep local news in local hands.

Praise for What Works in Community News

“A fresh, optimistic, and necessary exploration of what really works in the crucially important realm of local news.” —Margaret Sullivan, author of Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy

“A great and important book . . . Provides great hope that the field is full of passionate, brilliant people who are going to figure this out.” —Steven Waldman, founder of Rebuild Local News and cofounder of Report for America

“A valuable reference book for entrepreneurs and a compelling read for anyone interested in saving and reviving local news.” —Penelope Muse Abernathy, author of Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Dan Kennedy
Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University and a nationally known media commentator. He was a panelist on the GBH News television program Beat the Press (1998–2021) and also served as a weekly columnist for the network. He was also a columnist for The Guardian from 2007–2011. Dan is a recipient of the Yankee Quill Award from the New England Academy of Journalists and the James W. Carey Journalism Award from the Media Ecology Association.

Ellen Clegg
Ellen Clegg

Ellen Clegg

Ellen Clegg spent more than 3 decades at The Boston Globe and retired in 2018 after four years of running the opinion pages. In between stints at the Globe, she was deputy director of communications at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She is a member of the steering committee for the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship at the International Women’s Media Foundation. Ellen is co-founder and co-chair of Brookline.News, a nonprofit startup news organization in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.


Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

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