Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Kevin Loker (Page 6)

Director of Program Operations and Partnerships

Kevin Loker serves as director of program operations and partnerships at the American Press Institute. His work focuses on two areas: facilitating research and events that strengthen API programs, and helping API collaborate with and advance the work of other organizations that want to improve journalism and its business.

At API, Kevin has served on research teams since its reinvention as an applied think tank. He’s contributed to over a dozen national studies on news audiences with the Media Insight Project, API’s joint research initiative with Associated Press NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, as well as research into the ethics of philanthropic funding of journalism. He regularly assists with API’s Strategy Studies and led API efforts to study and spread practices on deep listening in news.

Events including API Thought Leader Summits are also part of his portfolio at API. Since 2013, Kevin has helped organize nearly a dozen invite-only summits on emerging challenges in journalism, such as mobile strategy and reader revenue.

Before API, Kevin worked in digital and membership services for the Online News Association. He is a former contributor to 10,000 Words, a media industry blog. Together with his wife Laura, he received a 2017 Catholic Press Association Award for an email newsletter for Catholics.

Email Kevin at or follow him @kevinloker.

Build your events strategy around your existing strengths

Events are a natural fit at news organizations because of their strengths and their role in their communities. Local news organizations have three major assets when it comes to producing events. The first is market penetration. Few organizations in geographic areas can claim to reach people in the way a local news publishers’ circulation does. […]

Leverage existing news audiences for events and grow new ones

An events strategy needs to start by asking “For whom?” Gathering as much information as a local news publisher can about its events’ potential audiences helps to create the best format, timing and location for individual events. Deep knowledge of an audience is also essential for wooing sponsors, advertisers and partners. A couple different sources […]

Identify and hold off other event-marketing competitors

Publishers who don’t produce their own events risk allowing competitors to enter the market and capture that revenue. The competition is other events and other activities Unlike a publishers’ news business, the competition for events in most cases is not coming from another news organization. It’s other events, and scarcity of time. Think about it […]

How to take a creative approach to events revenue for publishers

Expos and more traditional journalistic events such as debates and conferences around news topics can earn revenue, but they aren’t the only ways to come up with significant events earnings. Below are a few more unusual ideas news publishers have found effective. Create “something out of nothing” In any business it is good to get […]

Weigh different pricing strategies for events

The significant revenue is in event sponsorships. A publisher could have a great event idea, but the math still needs to work. Using a spreadsheet to weigh possible revenue versus expenses is crucial to event success. There are a number of things to consider. Strategize between offering standard sponsor packages or “listening first” Making the […]

Go all-in on event promotions

Event promotion, internally and externally, is vital to event success and growth as a significant source of revenue. Ultimately, for most events to work, we heard consistently that publishers need to do two things 1) get as many people to know about the event as possible, and 2) get full newsroom support. Organizational structure and […]

Strategy worksheet: Make your events plan

We developed a worksheet with a series of planning questions to get you started with conceiving and creating events 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.

Appendix: Organizations in this report

This report shares lessons and information from the following news organizations producing events: The Texas Tribune The St. Louis Beacon MinnPost The Chattanooga Times Free Press NJ Spotlight The New York Times Oakland Local The Bakersfield Californian The New Yorker Arkansas Democrat-Gazette The Buffalo News The Des Moines Register The Detroit Free Press The Boston […]

Appendix: More resources on journalism events

We recommend: The eight categories of journalism events, a blog post by Josh Stearns, director of journalism and sustainability at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The groupings are a helpful for looking at what is possible. You might also enjoy his 17 lessons for local news events, a quick list of tips helpful for new […]

How to find out if a photo your friend posted online is fake

Just because a picture speaks a thousand words doesn’t mean it has to be true. Watch out for abuses of this photo of Mark Zuckerberg holding up a paper sign, for instance. Many are fakes. In the video below, Mary Owen, former reporter at the Chicago Tribune and Detroit Free Press and Chicago program manager […]

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