Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Reports

API’s invests significant time, thought and resources in producing research that we believe is definitive and useful. We address the most-pressing issues facing news organizations — understanding audiences, creating business models, and internal transformation — in a way that helps the leaders and the strivers in those organizations form plans and take action.

This page collects all of API’s in-depth research of several forms — white papers that share insights from in-person events, strategy studies that help publishers form their own plans, and survey research analysis that helps publishers serve the needs of modern news audiences.

The future of digital advertising: Designs for mobile screens may be more effective

This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project — an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Overview As the news industry searches for new revenue models to finance journalism online, a new research study suggests that some sorts of digital advertising are demonstrably more effective […]

General election news coverage: What engages audiences down the ballot

  Summary As Election Day approaches, more people seek news and information about politics. To understand the habits of news audiences in the run-up to the election, we analyzed what was being covered in reporting about down-ballot, non-presidential races for U.S. Congress, governor, and local offices in the lead-up to the 2016 general election. The […]

The Future of Fact-Checking: Moving ahead in political accountability journalism

Overview These should be heady days for fact-checkers. In an industry that has not otherwise been enjoying robust growth, the number of media outlets focused on fact-checking and political accountability reporting has grown rapidly. Bolstered by new partnerships and technology, demonstrably more fact-checking took place during the 2016 election than in previous elections. Media organizations […]

‘Who shared it?’: How Americans decide what news to trust on social media

This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project — an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Introduction When Americans encounter news on social media, how much they trust the content is determined less by who creates the news than by who shares it, according to […]

Break Form: Making stories with and for the people

Introduction and Actions: Localore: Finding America Editor’s Note: This report captures the impact and lessons from Localore: Finding America — an independent public media initiative comprising 15 teams embedded for nine months at forward-moving public radio and television stations across the U.S. to invent new storytelling models with citizens. The report was produced by the […]

7 characteristics of effective accountability journalists

No matter what topics they cover, many journalists hold people and institutions responsible for their words and actions. This “accountability journalism,” whether it is political fact-checking, investigations or other forms of reporting, must still engage readers and impact audiences to be effective. All journalism, in the end, should strive to make the significant interesting. Through […]

Distributed content: The best ways to build sustainable platform strategies

The potential audience for news has never been larger, yet reaching that audience directly has never been more of a challenge for publishers. Thanks to the explosion of social media and smartphones, people are consuming content constantly, but they are far less likely to discover or consume that content on publisher websites. Websites will, of […]

How to engage readers with digital longform journalism

Introduction Major enterprise stories — stories that take deep dives and attempt to inform readers in substantive ways or to elicit impact — these are the types of stories that encourage readers to move beyond binary and dogmatic thinking about local, national and world events. However, these enterprise stories require considerable resources: time and effort […]

Hacking the curriculum: How to teach data reporting in journalism schools

Journalists and educators largely agree at this point that by the time journalism students graduate they should have some experience with data. The Dow Jones News Fund, one of journalism’s most prestigious education programs since the 1950s, debuted a data internship this year. Data has become a more common topic at education convenings, and NICAR, […]

Primary election coverage: What types of news engage audiences

A broad, data-driven analysis of campaign coverage by the Engaging News Project and the American Press Institute shows how local, state, and federal elections are covered across the United States and what types of campaign coverage engage individuals. The Engaging News Project partnered with the American Press Institute to examine local news coverage of the […]

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Strategy Studies

The best practices for innovation within news organizations

This Strategy Study presents examples and insights about journalism innovation, offering actionable advice and methods to move your journalism and business forward.