Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Tom Rosenstiel

Executive Director

An author, journalist, researcher and media critic, Tom Rosenstiel is one of the nation's most recognized thinkers on the future of media. Before joining the American Press Institute in January 2013, he was founder and for 16 years director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism at the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., and co-founder and vice chair of the Committee of Concerned Journalists.

During his journalism career he worked as media writer for the Los Angeles Times for a decade, chief congressional correspondent for Newsweek, press critic for MSNBC, business editor of the Peninsula Times Tribune, a reporter for Jack Anderson’s Washington Merry Go ‘Round column, and began his career at the Woodside Country Almanac in his native northern California.

He is the author of seven books, including The Elements of Journalism: What News People Should Know and the Public Should Expect, which has been translated into more than 25 languages and has been described as “The most important book on the relationship of journalism and democracy published in the last fifty years” (Roy Peter Clark, (Poynter), "a modern classic" (Bill Safire, New York Times), and one of the five "essential books" on journalism (Wall Street Journal). He and Kovach have also written two other books together, including, Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload. His newest book is The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century, co-edited with Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute. His books and work at PEJ have generated more than 50,000 academic citations.

He is a four-time winner of both the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Journalism Research and the national prize for media criticism from Penn State. Among his other awards are the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri Journalism School, the Dewitt Carter Reddick Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in the Field of Communications from the University of Texas at Austin, the Columbia Journalism School Distinguished Alumni Award and the Goldsmith Book Award from Harvard.

Email Tom at or follow him @tbr1.

Fact-checking and accountability journalism: Popular, effective — but sometimes misunderstood

Most people who studied journalism or communication at a broad selection of schools across the United States believe that fact-checking journalism — a relatively new form of accountability reporting in politics — is effective at improving political discourse, according to a new survey. About two-thirds of graduates of communication and journalism, or 65 percent, across […]

Twitter and life

Just over half of social media users (53%) have a Twitter account and most (67%) have had it for more than 3 years, according to the survey. An even wider world of people encounter Twitter without using it. Of all Twitter users, 68% see hashtags and Twitter handles or tweets displayed on TV, 61% in […]

How non-Twitter users are different

The survey also probed non-Twitter social media users about why they don’t use the social network for news. People offered a range of answers, with no one standing far above any other. Perhaps the most striking result is that these are news consumers who feel they get sufficient news elsewhere. Indeed, the largest number of […]

How false information spreads and gets corrected on Twitter

One question some people have about the openness of the web, including social networks, is about navigating information that proves to be false. The survey probed Twitter users about that experience as well. The findings suggest that there is some self-correcting element to Twitter and to the web generally, born in part out of the […]

How Twitter users interact with brands and promoted tweets

Most Twitter users (77%) have interacted with a promoted tweet in some way. The largest number, 56%, say they have noticed a promoted tweet, topic or account. Fifteen percent have clicked on a promoted tweet, 8% on a tweet under a promoted hashtag. Almost as many, 7%, have followed a promoted account and 6% have […]

Twitter and breaking news

While people end up following news in general on Twitter and use the social network “to pass the time,” the immediacy of using the network to track news in real time, as noted above, is one of the primary reasons that people say they use Twitter and the most common form of news that is […]

Who people follow and discover on Twitter

On Twitter consumers can discover new voices, authors, news providers and take following actions as a result. The survey tried to track those patterns by asking what kind of news sources people follow and what kind they had discovered. The findings reveal that, to a substantial degree, Twitter is a way that news consumers follow […]

How Twitter users follow the news

People using social media as a news source can design their own news agenda — identifying the sources and topics they want to follow. This has led to speculation that people will become narrow in their interests without the agenda-setting influence of news organizations. The survey probed this notion in various ways, including by asking […]

How people use Twitter in general

In general, all three core groups studied — Twitter users, non-Twitter users on social media and social media users overall — consume a good deal of news. In all, 77% of all social media users said they keep up with the news at least once a day, a number that was similar (76%) for non-Twitter […]

Twitter and the News: How people use the social network to learn about the world

Overview How does Twitter change the way people get news? What kinds of thought leaders, journalists and organizations do people follow on the network? How are these Twitter followers different than those on other social networks? And how are people reacting to added elements on Twitter, such as advertising and promoted tweets? At a moment […]

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