Tom Rosenstiel

Former Executive Director, American Press Institute

One of the most recognized thinkers in the country on the future of news, Tom Rosenstiel led API for nine years, leaving in 2021 to become the Eleanor Merrill Visiting Professor on the Future of Journalism at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill School of Journalism. He established API as a leader in the effort to make local journalism sustainable. Under his leadership, API published groundbreaking research, developed a cutting-edge news analytics tool that is used by hundreds of newsrooms, and took over management of the news leadership training program Table Stakes.

Tom is the author of 10 books, including three novels. Before joining API in January 2013, he was founder and for 16 years director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, one of the five original projects of the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. He was co-founder and vices chair of the Committee of Concerned Journalists. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

His first novel, Shining City (2017), about a Supreme Court nomination, was an NPR Book of the Year. His second, The Good Lie (2019), about a terrorist incident, was a Washington Post bestseller. His third, Oppo, about a presidential campaign, was published in December 2019.

Among his seven books on journalism, politics and ethics is The Elements of Journalism: What News People Should Know and the Public Should Expect, co-authored with Bill Kovach, which has been translated into more than 25 languages and is used widely in journalism education worldwide. It has been called “a modern classic” (New York Times) and one of the five best books ever written on journalism (Wall Street Journal). Tom’s media criticism, his nonfiction books and his research work at API and at PEJ have generated more than 50,000 academic citations.

During his journalism career he worked as media writer for the Los Angeles Times for a decade, chief congressional correspondent for Newsweek, press critic for MSNBC, business editor of the Peninsula Times Tribune, a reporter for Jack Anderson’s Washington Merry Go ‘Round column, and began his career at the Woodside Country Almanac in his native northern California.

He is the winner of the Goldsmith book Award from Harvard, four Sigma Delta Chi Awards for Journalism Research from SPJ and four awards for national for media criticism from Penn State. He has been named a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, the organization’s highest honor, the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri Journalism School, the Dewitt Carter Reddick Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in the Field of Communications from the University of Texas at Austin, and the Columbia Journalism School Distinguished Alumni Award.

Follow him @TomRosenstiel.

How Twitter users follow the news

People using social media as a news source can design their own news agenda — identifying the sources and topics they want to follow. This has led to speculation that people will become narrow in their interests without the agenda-setting influence of news organizations. The survey probed this notion in various ways, including by asking […]

How people use Twitter in general

In general, all three core groups studied — Twitter users, non-Twitter users on social media and social media users overall — consume a good deal of news. In all, 77% of all social media users said they keep up with the news at least once a day, a number that was similar (76%) for non-Twitter […]

Twitter and the News: How people use the social network to learn about the world

Overview How does Twitter change the way people get news? What kinds of thought leaders, journalists and organizations do people follow on the network? How are these Twitter followers different than those on other social networks? And how are people reacting to added elements on Twitter, such as advertising and promoted tweets? At a moment […]

Methodology

This study was conducted by DB5 using a 15-minute online survey among two groups: General social media users (n=1,000) defined as those who used some sort of social media platform at least weekly. These individuals were recruited through an online panel of adults (18 years of age and older) across the U.S. who are nationally […]

Recommendations for publishers

The results of this survey make clear an intimate connection between Twitter users and news, and suggest some ways in which publishers can take best advantage of the platform. That connection comes through in various data points. Among them, nearly 9 in 10 Twitter users (86%) say they use Twitter for news, almost the same […]

Who is a ‘journalist’ today, where they work and what they do

Significant numbers of journalism and communication graduates now practice what they consider journalism, even though they don’t work for traditional news organizations, our survey of journalism school graduates found. The survey probed this phenomenon with several questions, including asking people to explain in very granular terms what skills they employ in their work and what […]

How these graduates feel about their work and the state of journalism

One question virtually everyone in media hears at one point or another is whether the world of journalism, with all the possibilities and disruption caused by technology, is getting better or worse. The survey asked a series of questions that probed this. The answers varied significantly depending on where people worked in the media, their […]

Skills, knowledge and comfort levels with job skills

The survey also probed a series of questions about a range of different skill sets and asked people about their knowledge and comfort levels with them. One question in that sequence asked people about some two dozen skills that they might use in whatever their field and asked how important they thought each one was. […]

What journalists encounter in their jobs and careers

The survey also went deeper to look at the experiences of these journalism and communication graduates in their work. That began by asking people (regardless of where they work) what they had personally experienced in their jobs in the last five years. The results might be interpreted as relatively grim, but again age made a […]

Journalism and communication grads’ experiences with school, student media, and internships

The college journalism and communication experience At a time of enormous change, how people learn — and how academic institutions, educators, organizations, student publications and others can help them — is a major issue. The survey asked people a battery of questions about how they learn, what they learned in school and their academic experience […]