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.

Unleash your hacker culture to get an app built

Now you have a pretty good idea of a mobile product you might build. You know what your audience wants, what your staff can sustain, and the features that users need it to include. But how do you actually create it? Make it a side project In the spirit of starting small and cheap, many […]

Make room for ‘beta’ app experiments to grow

Steve Jobs famously told the team building the first Macintosh computer in the early 1980s, “Real artists ship.” That motto echoes as the delivery of news shifts to mobile and publishers must move there quickly and then refine. Despite all the energy spent planning, designing, building, testing and refining a new app or product, nothing […]

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 […]

Interview audio: The new trends and realities of digital journalism

American Press Institute Deputy Director Jeff Sonderman talks with the crew of It’s All Journalism about trends in digital journalism and the new realities of being a journalist today. The interview also covers API’s new model and the basics of our new mission: helping news organizations create better journalism that people want and will use, […]

Interview video: Why to keep an eye on wearables for journalism

American Press Institute Deputy Director Jeff Sonderman reviews the new landscape of wearable tech, what may be coming and why consumers may go for the once “nerdy” devices.

The definition of ‘sponsored content’

Sponsored content / native advertising appears in many ways. There is no single form, but rather a continuum from banner ads to social media content to large microsites with articles and videos. The fragmented, inconsistent approaches are actually a feature, not a bug — “native” advertising is native to the specific publication or platform it […]

The four business models of sponsored content

There are four distinct models that we’ve seen so far, each with varying levels of involvement from the publisher and brand: Underwriting model: The brand sponsors content attached to normal reporting, or something that the publisher was creating anyway. This model preserves the most editorial independence. The brand is simply paying to have its name […]

Managing risks, maintaining standards and ethics in sponsored content

The resounding consensus we heard from summit participants was that upholding the publisher’s own brand and integrity, and thereby its readers trust, is an important principle. These brands seeking sponsored content partners are coming to publishers not only for their audience size but for their trust and integrity, says Rebecca Davis of Ogilvy. The brands […]