Jeff Sonderman

Jeff Sonderman is the former deputy executive director of the American Press Institute.

Before joining the American Press Institute in 2013, he was the digital media fellow of The Poynter Institute. His earlier journalism background includes digital news — helping to launch TBD.com, a local digital news startup in Washington, D.C. — and various roles in newspapers, as an award-winning reporter, online editor and metro editor of The Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pa. He was the architect and developer of API’s Metrics for News analytics software that reinvents how publishers use data to inform content strategy. He also edited API’s Need to Know newsletter, and designed API’s Strategy Studies research format for in-depth strategic guidance. And he consulted with publishers on a range of issues related to content strategy, organizational transformation, audience development, newsroom structure and workflows and product management. He graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism.

Facing Change: The needs, attitudes and experiences of people in media

A new study of communication graduates finds that people in many different industries — from commercial brands to government and think tanks — now produce what they consider journalism, and while they are pessimistic about the direction of news in general, most believe their own work in the last five years has gotten better. In […]

Our plan for enabling news innovation through culture change

Based on this new research, API has designed a strategy that we believe is an unusual, human-centered and flexible program of consultation, education, outreach and support to help news organizations enable innovation and problem solving for the future. We see the key first step for an organization as a personalized assessment of its current culture, […]

The path to creating innovative culture in news organizations

In the tech startup world a now-famous phrase has been coined: “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and it has been extended to include “technology for lunch, and products for dinner, and soon thereafter everything else too.” Culture is shaped by many factors. There are professional mores, industrial processes, internal structures, communication, personnel, accumulated habits, and […]

A culture-based strategy for creating innovation in news organizations

For journalism it truly is the best of times and the worst of times. The best, in that never has there been more opportunity for creative storytelling, audience expansion, and crafting or grasping new digital tools for whatever needs arise. The worst, in that news organizations are often unable to seize the opportunities at their […]

Unlocking mobile revenue and audience: New ideas and best practices

We have thoroughly entered the age of mobile news. People are shifting so rapidly to smartphones and tablets, various data suggest, that mobile devices in the last year became the primary platforms for news. With that comes a whole new level of uncertainty and opportunity for news publishers. The American Press Institute recently gathered more than 40 […]

A mobile-first organization has editorial, technology and business teams working together in new ways

This wasn’t the case in older days, when the newsroom, sales and IT departments were kept apart to avoid conflicts and rarely spoke. That’s now changing, and mobile technology is a big reason why. Mobile, like online technology in general, ties revenue more directly to content, and content more directly to technology. The people responsible […]

Mobile news presentation should be different from web or print

Every print newspaper article goes through a process of reporting, editing and design to optimize how it appears in print. And most publishers have gotten comfortable with customization of online stories for things like SEO and adding additional content or updates. But content customization for mobile is scant, the participants at our summit said–even at […]

Mobile and social media are intricately linked

Any discussion about how to reach and serve people using smartphones almost certainly must begin with social media. This was a major point of consensus among mobile leaders at our summit. Using social media to connect with other people is the most popular purpose of smartphone app usage other than gaming. More popular than utilities or […]

Mobile apps and mobile websites are for quite different audiences

News publishers need to think about their mobile audience as consisting of two quite distinct groups. One is made up of possibly longtime readers or subscribers of legacy products, people who know the publication in its other forms. They often like the notion of a complete and finite bundle of news, organized under a brand’s […]

What it really means to ‘engage’ a mobile user

There are many ways of defining “engagement,” but those working in mobile emphasized that they all are about making valuable connections with mobile users to build loyalty or create content. The word engagement is thrown around so often that it’s easy to dismiss, but drill deeper and the concept actually gets at essential aspects of […]