Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Thought Leader Summits

The American Press Institute gathers leaders from a variety of news organizations for one-day summits on focused topics of importance in the current journalism landscape.

Previous events have touched on the rise of sponsored content and how to make mobile news products that work and make money, too. Another focused on how to make online news video work for the modern audience, as well as the company’s bottom line.

Each summit addresses the critical issues and potential solutions for evolving strategies around the day’s topic. This often includes discussions around finding, measuring and retaining audience, as well as steps to growing new revenue streams and building an organization that effectively integrates new technology, community and revenue efforts.

Unlike a typical conference, API Thought Leader Summits are highly participatory and include only a few-dozen invitees. The day-long events treat each attendee as an active participant, sharing his or her expertise and experiences while gaining actionable insights from others. Participants are in for a day of peer learning, rather than being another face in the audience.

A larger goal of the events is to spread the best knowledge widely. After each summit, API distills the best insights into a practical public report.

Below are the practical resources, reports and other information from our Thought Leader Summits:

Understanding the rise of sponsored content
API’s fall 2013 summit was held in association with The Atlantic to clarify and inform discussion around the increasingly common revenue stream. We talked about sponsored content’s potential, definitions, ethics, and more.

Unlocking mobile revenue and audience: New ideas and best practices
Hosted in association with Google, API’s spring 2014 summit broke participants into small working groups for focused discussion on how to make strong mobile news products based on audience data and behavior. We discussed and then later distilled the best lessons learned from current leaders in mobile news.

Producing value and revenue with online video
API’s summer 2014 summit was hosted at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. and gathered executives, managers and producers pioneering creative digital video strategies at both legacy and startup news organizations. We discussed how leading publishers were approaching video during industry change.

Truth in Politics 2014: A status report on fact-checking journalism
Our first summit produced through API’s fact-checking project assessed the state of political fact checking following the 2014 midterm elections, previewed major research projects sponsored through API, and looked ahead at what’s needed to improve and expand fact-checking efforts during the 2016 campaign. A summary of the event is here.

Harnessing data in new ways to grow business and audience
API’s first summit for 2015 took place at the New York Times and gathered executives, strategists and data scientists at the forefront of audience development from leading legacy and startup news organizations. Resources related to the event are forthcoming.

Cracking the code for effective product management
Held at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, API’s first fall 2015 summit gathered executives, product managers and other leaders responsible for creating and managing news organization products and services, ranging from mobile news products to advertising products to in-house tools. Resources related to the event are forthcoming.

Diving deep into mobile: Advanced conversations for modern newsrooms
Scheduled for November 2015, API’s second summit on mobile news will gather innovators to push beyond the basic mobile-related topics that journalism conferences commonly rehash. The agenda will involve small, in-depth discussions on issues surfaced by mobile-focused participants, and we’ll also take inspiration from the event’s location: 1776, a DC-based global incubator and seed fund.

For more information, contact program manager Kevin Loker at


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