H. Iris Chyi is an associate professor and new media researcher at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the economics of digital journalism. Her “Ramen Noodles Theory” suggests that online news, like Ramen Noodles, is an inferior good. Her work on users’ format preference for traditional media challenges the theory of disruptive technology. She has pioneered research on the dual-geographic nature of online newspaper markets, assessed the viability of the subscription model, and uncovered universal-yet-counterintuitive patterns of user demand for multiplatform newspapers.
In her forthcoming book, Trial and Error: U.S. Newspapers’ Digital Struggles toward Inferiority, Chyi addresses key issues (and troubles) facing the newspaper industry by synthesizing nearly 20 years of research on the topic. Chyi has also published extensively in major academic journals and received many research awards, including the News Audience Research Paper Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Faculty Research Award from the College of Communication at UT Austin, the Top Rated 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 also serves on the editorial board of several research journals, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, International Journal on Media Management, Journalism Studies, Digital Journalism, among others.
Chyi teaches the Economics of New Media, Introduction to Research Methods, and Advanced Social Science Methods at the graduate level, and Domestic Issues and Global Perspectives and Web publishing at the undergraduate level. In 2011, 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 worked for several online organizations in the U.S. and in Asia, including wwwins.com (now wwwins Isobar), an Internet consulting firm that develops strategies for multinational companies in Greater China; Cox Interactive Media, which operates the online edition of The Austin American-Statesman; and ChinaTimes.com, the first Chinese-language online newspaper.
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.