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.
Her research receives substantial attention from the news industry. She has addressed major industry conferences in the U.S., Europe (WAN-IFRA), and Latin America (Inter American Press Association), and offered advice to news organizations including The New York Times. Her work has been covered by media outlets worldwide, such as The Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, Columbia Journalism Review, Politico Magazine, Bloomberg, Fortune, Nieman Journalism Lab, Poynter, Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, WAN-IFRA (Germany), The Sunday Independent (Ireland), El Mundo (Spain), Excelsior (Mexico), La Nacion (Argentina), The Korea Times, CBC Radio One (Canada), among others.
Chyi has published more than 50 journal articles and book chapters and received many research awards, including the News Audience Research Paper Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, two Faculty Research Awards from the College of Communication at UT Austin, the Top Research Paper Award from the International Symposium on Online Journalism, two Top Paper Awards from the Newspaper Division of AEJMC, and an award for industry relevance from the International Newspaper Marketing Association. She serves on the editorial board of these research journals: Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism Studies, Digital Journalism, International Journal on Media Management, Communication and Society, and Journal of Information Society.
Chyi teaches Economics of New Media, Audience Research, Introduction to Research Methods, and Advanced Social Science Methods at the graduate level, as well as Domestic Issues and Global Perspectives and Digital Production and Analytics at the undergraduate level. She received the Barry Sherman Teaching Award from the Media Management & Economics Division of AEJMC, which recognizes excellence and innovation in the teaching of media management and economics.
Chyi received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan University. She taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Arizona prior to joining the UT faculty in 2007. She worked for several media organizations in the U.S. and in Asia.