Kevin Loker

Director of Strategic Partnerships and Research

Kevin Loker serves as director of strategic partnerships and research for the American Press Institute. He helps API collaborate with and complement the work of other organizations that want to improve journalism and its business. In addition, he leads research initiatives and projects on emerging challenges in journalism that advance API’s core program areas.

Kevin’s work in partnerships spans several types of work. He has helped API secure and develop grant-funded programs that support news transformation, including a Community Listening Fellowship for journalists and a Listening & Sustainability Lab for publishers of color. He has overseen programs that have distributed to local news organizations more than $300,000 in funding to experiment with audience-centered journalism. He has organized nearly a dozen invite-only summits on other emerging challenges in journalism, such as reimagining opinion sections and developing reader revenue.

Kevin has also served on research teams since API’s reinvention as an applied think tank. He’s contributed to more than 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. In 2020, he served as a research assistant for the fourth edition of The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect (2021).

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.

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 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 […]

API supports effort to develop stronger news audience metrics

The American Press Institute is supporting a meeting of news industry leaders and academics working to develop useful metrics for news publishers. A 25-person working group drawn from around the country will meet Thursday in Chicago to review industry needs and begin to identify research and partnerships that will help news organizations better understand their […]

Transforming a longtime youth news product to match new behaviors: 7 good questions with Channel One News

When I was a kid in school, I watched the Channel One News program on old, wall-mounted TVs that turned on automatically during homeroom. But over the years, Channel One News has had to recognize that kids and teachers alike are using a variety of devices and platforms to consume information, including videos. Channel One […]

Finding a non-local niche: 6 good questions with Boston Globe’s new Catholicism editor John Allen

Until recently, John L. Allen, Jr. was a senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, one of the largest independent Catholic news publications. He’s the author of the “All Things Catholic” column, senior Vatican analyst for CNN, and the author of nine books on Vatican and Catholic affairs. He’s widely-held as one of the most […]

Modernizing news in the classroom: 7 good questions with the New York Times’ ‘The Learning Network’

Take a look at the New York Times’ blog directory and you’ll see one that’s different than the others: The Learning Network. Originally, in 1998, The Learning Network was the Times’ platform to provide teachers with lessons plans based on Times’ content. In 2009, however, they transformed the platform — and really, the whole idea […]

Breaking down barriers to reading news: 7 good questions with Newsela’s Jennifer Coogan

Newsela is a less-than-a-year-old educational technology startup that uses news articles to teach reading comprehension to youth. What makes Newsela unique is that Chief Content Officer Jennifer Coogan and her team of a dozen freelancers break down and rewrite news relevant to youth, creating versions of the same story at different reading levels. They do […]

Planning for tomorrow’s 20-somethings: 6 good questions with youth researcher Danah Boyd

Danah Boyd is a well-known and well-Twitter-followed scholar on topics of both youth and social media. She’s a principal researcher at Microsoft, a research assistant professor in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center. Very recently, you might have seen news of the launch of danah’s think/do […]

Correction strategies: 6 good questions with Regret the Error’s Craig Silverman

Craig Silverman is the quotable, go-to source for your publication’s stories on media errors. Outside his job as director of content at Spundge, he writes the popular Regret the Error column at Poynter, which chronicles media errors and takes a look at what went wrong. He’s also the person behind this tweetable story to keep […]