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, 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.

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 […]

How ‘restorative narratives’ shape communities: 9 good questions with Mallary Tenore of ivoh

Images & Voices of Hope (ivoh) is a 15-year-old nonprofit organization that highlights how media can foster change and healing in communities. It defines “media” broadly — to include journalism, photography, documentary film, gaming and more. Mallary Tenore came on board as managing director in December after seven years at The Poynter Institute. We spoke with Mallary about […]

Find us at mediaXchange 2014

If you can come to this year’s NAA mediaXchange conference, March 16-19 in Denver, we hope you will take advantage of a couple valuable American Press Institute programs. On the second day of the conference, API will be releasing groundbreaking new audience research that probes into consumer behavior, habits, and attitudes surrounding things we call news. We’ll […]

Presentation video: How to create specialized mobile news apps

This keynote presentation to the MoDevEast conference of mobile designers and developers highlights some major findings from our in-depth Strategy Study: The best strategies for creating specialized mobile apps. In a brief talk, I introduce a few ideas for how news organizations and others can identify opportunities for niche mobile apps, create quick and cheap initial […]

Obstacles you will face in creating niche mobile apps

In the earlier chapters we have shown why targeting a niche audience with a specialized mobile product is a powerful model that fits the modern era of media and technology usage. But it’s not without challenges. Publishers that venture into this territory will face some obstacles and potential pitfalls. One is that these specialized mobile […]

Strategy worksheet: Your niche mobile app plan

We developed a worksheet with a series of planning questions to get you started with conceiving and creating niche mobile products that are right for your audience. Consider sitting down with a few creative collaborators from across your organization to tackle these questions together. Download the strategy worksheet here.

The best strategies for creating specialized mobile apps

Think about the mobile apps or websites your organization uses to reach the public, and ask yourself two questions: what do they do, and who are they for? If the answers that come back are “everything” and “everyone,” we’re about to change that. A mobile app or website that serves all your traditional content to […]