Publications

This page collects the latest from a broad range of the original content API publishes, including survey research on news audiences, strategy studies that offer practical guidance for news organizations, and updates about the work we’re doing.

What journalists need in a chaotic news environment: Lessons from 2020

Elections in recent years have been marred by false and misleading claims of fraud. Anticipating an acceleration of the trend, editors and news directors from local newsrooms began reaching out to the American Press Institute in early 2020 for support addressing the issue. The onset of the pandemic and a corollary shift in election practices […]

How newsrooms can do less work – but have more impact

We’ve published a lot of articles at API about innovative things that news organizations are doing — they’re hosting events, they’re launching newsletters, they’re starting new beats, they’re translating more stories, they’re running reader hotlines, they’re campaigning for civility. All of it is good and meaningful work. But you know what our most popular piece […]

Keeping opinion local: The benefits of cutting national politics from opinion sections

When news organizations face cuts, opinion editors and writers are some of the first on the chopping block: Their work can be replaced by that of national syndicated columnists, saving precious dollars. But new research suggests that the long-term effects of that decision may be detrimental to local news organizations. Local news audiences, treated to […]

A new way of looking at trust in media: Do Americans share journalism’s core values?

The deep divides over trust in the news media are usually portrayed as largely ideological. Democrats are seven times more likely than Republicans to say they trust the mainstream media, and independents are four times as likely.1 But the argument over media trust often has the feel of people talking past each other—many journalists denying […]

Building election coverage with audiences

No work of journalism should be focused more on what matters to the public than election coverage. Voters, after all, are the decision makers. But journalists don’t always make the right assumptions about what’s of interest to the voting public. One of the main concerns about political journalism is that it reflects the interests of […]

Addressing false information during the 2020 election and lessons for the future

The 2020 election may be remembered best for misinformation. Led by the defeated president himself, partisans — including elected officials — and others seeking to sow doubt about the legitimacy of the election spread false claims about voting and election results, undermining confidence in the foundations of our shared democracy. After the 2016 election, in […]

Amid uncertainty, back-to-basics reporting became essential in 2020 election coverage

The pandemic made nearly every facet of life more complicated. That, in turn, altered what kind of news people needed.  In response, many journalists offered a “back to basics” journalism, distilling key issues to help make them easy to understand and act upon.  Greater complexity was particularly true of voting in 2020, where many states […]

Lessons from 2020: How local newsrooms responded to unprecedented challenges

The pandemic created new challenges for journalists trying to help audiences make sense of a contentious election, one already complicated by abrupt shifts in voting processes and widespread misinformation spread online and by public officials. Just knowing how to vote safely was a major concern. In response, election reporting had to be rethought – in […]

7 questions to help local media rebound in 2021

Worldwide, the lives of most journalists have been consumed over the past 12 months by cataclysmic events both anticipated and unexpected. But no media organization has been battered more than the local newsroom. Journalists in America’s towns and small cities were the first responders to massive COVID-19 outbreaks, police shootings, protests, violent demonstrations, fractious political […]

What news publishers do to retain subscribers

As the future of the news focuses more on reader revenue as its economic model, retention of subscribers and members is becoming more critical. It is one thing to get users to subscribe, particularly with discounted introductory offers. It becomes essential to keep those consumers. To continue growing net revenue, publishers need help to evaluate […]