The Media Insight Project

The Media Insight Project is a collaboration of the American Press Institute (API) and The AP‑NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, with the objective of conducting high‑quality, innovative research meant to inform the news industry and the public about various important issues facing journalism and the news business.

The Media Insight Project brings together the expertise of both organizations and their respective partners, and involves collaborations among key staff at API, NORC at the University of Chicago, and The Associated Press.

Its studies are directed and funded primarily by API and are designed and conducted in partnership between the organizations.

The individual authors, researchers and contributors for each study are cited in the studies’ methodology sections.

About The American Press Institute
The American Press Institute (API) advances an innovative and sustainable local news industry by helping publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, improve public‑service journalism, and succeed at organizational change. API is a national 501©3 nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the News Media Alliance. It works with and draws on the best ideas from technology, business, and publishing. Read more here

About The Associated Press‑NORC Center For Public Affairs Research
The AP‑NORC Center for Public Affairs Research taps into the power of social science research and the highest‑quality journalism to bring key information to people across the nation and throughout the world.

The Associated Press (AP) is the world’s essential news organization, bringing fast, unbiased news to all media platforms and formats.

NORC at the University of Chicago is one of the oldest and most respected, independent research institutions in the world.

The two organizations have established The AP‑NORC Center for Public Affairs Research to conduct, analyze, and distribute social science research in the public interest on newsworthy topics, and to use the power of journalism to tell the stories that research reveals.

The founding principles of The AP‑NORC Center include a mandate to preserve carefully and protect the scientific integrity and objectivity of NORC and the journalistic independence of AP. All work conducted by the Center conforms to the highest levels of scientific integrity to prevent any real or perceived bias in the research. All of the work of the Center is subject to review by its advisory committee to help ensure it meets these standards. The Center will publicize the results of all studies and make all datasets and study documentation available to scholars and the public.

How younger and older Americans understand and interact with news

While the survey finds distinctions among attitudes and understanding of the media by factors like party and ideology, it also finds some significant and cautionary distinctions by age. Consistent with previous Media Insight Project research findings, and those of other research as well, the survey shows older Americans are more likely to seek out news, […]

Download the report or topline results

For printing and offline viewing, a PDF version of this report and the topline survey results are available for download.

Digital Paywall Converters subscribe because they want unlimited articles

Digital Paywall Converters are people who bought a digital subscription because they hit a limit of free stories they could read online and wanted unlimited access. Their willingness to subscribe is highly driven by seeing many interesting articles over time, as well as wanting to support local journalism. Demographically, they stand apart in many ways—Digital […]

Topic Hunters subscribe for news about a particular topic or issue

Topic Hunters are highly interested in one or two certain subjects—such as local politics or local college or high school sports—and this interest was a major motivation for them to subscribe. They look around for the best news available on these topics. They tend to be well educated (three-quarters have a college degree) and are […]

The Locally Engaged subscribe because they care about the community

The Locally Engaged are a group keenly interested in content about the community and its institutions, and they want to be engaged and informed locally. They say that access to local news is a major reason they wanted a subscription to the paper, and they closely follow news about local politics or their immediate town […]

Social Media-Mobile Discoverers subscribe after high-quality engagement on digital platforms

Social Media-Mobile Discoverers are subscribers who engage with the newspaper and its journalists on social media and read the paper on mobile devices. They get news on a cell phone often and use social media often, and they also interact with the newspaper through news alerts, following it or its journalists on social media, or […]

Journalism Advocates subscribe to support a free press

Journalism Advocates are motivated by wanting to support journalism, and for many, their immediate trigger to subscribe was either a concern about verbal attacks on the press or a response to messaging about quality journalism. Many Journalism Advocates rated their paper as reliable, noted the paper’s accuracy, and cited concerns about accuracy of other sources. […]

Methodology

This survey was conducted by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute (API) and The Associated PressNORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey was conducted from November 9 through December 13, 2017. The survey was funded by API. Staff from API, NORC at the University of Chicago, and AP collaborated […]

Life Changers subscribe because they just moved or changed jobs

Life Changers as a group decide to subscribe because of a transition in their own circumstances, not because of something the newspaper itself recently did. In many ways, this is a group publishers can take clear steps to identify. Many have just moved to the area, and they picked up their new local paper when […]

Coupon Clippers subscribe to get print coupons and save money

Coupon Clippers are pretty self-explanatory—these people decided to pay for the newspaper at least in part because they value the coupons they can cut out to save money in stores. They are less likely to closely follow the news content. Before subscribing, most of the Coupon Clippers used the paper’s coupons by buying individual copies, […]