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.

Photo by Sam Wheeler on Unsplash

How might we reimagine opinion journalism for our digital, polarized age? Reflections from news leaders

In the age of social media, cable talk shows and fast-moving news cycles, what value does opinion journalism, including the opinion and editorial pages of newspaper publishing, bring to the lives of people in a community? Modern technology has surely opened up civic debate. Editorials and columns in newspapers, and opinion essays in magazines, suffered […]
Printing press

Cutting print: Making it work when publishing days must go

When a large U.S. newspaper cuts print publication days or curtails home delivery, headlines may scream media apocalypse. But for years, newspapers here and there across the country — little noticed beyond their home markets — have gradually scaled back print publishing. Papers of all sizes have considered it. Some are considering it right now. […]

How to build a metrics-savvy newsroom

Journalists have a reputation for dismissing data about their stories. But it’s undeserved. After all, the axiom “if it bleeds, it leads” describes a newsroom practice driven by the metrics of newsstand sales and broadcast ratings. Pulitzers and Emmys are qualitative data that indicates a reporter’s work is respected by her peers. Journalists don’t hate […]

How a culture of listening strengthens reporting and relationships

When Journal Star executive editor Dennis Anderson created a reader advisory board with residents of Peoria’s predominately African American South Side in 2014, he knew the paper had some work to do. Regard for the Journal Star wasn’t particularly high among these residents of the central Illinois town; some said that the only time they […]

Americans and the News Media: What they do — and don’t — understand about each other

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 A key factor in the erosion of Americans’ trust of their news media is a failure to communicate — we have a public that doesn’t fully understand how journalists […]

Journalists can change the way they build stories to create organic news fluency

When journalists talk about how they wish the public could recognize good reporting from bad reporting or even fakery, the subject often turns to whether the audience has the right skills. The discussion usually falls under the heading of “news literacy,” a body of work that typically involves a curriculum supervised by schools, heavily oriented […]

The empathetic newsroom: How journalists can better cover neglected communities

Medicine came to the realization some years ago: Being a good doctor requires more than knowing science. The best doctors also understand their patients. As a result, admissions tests for medical schools for several years have included questions about psychology and human behavior, not just biology and anatomy. And the benefits, it turns out, work […]

Paths to Subscription: Why recent subscribers chose to pay for news

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   Funding for the news industry is going through an epochal change, the implications of which cannot be overstated. In the future, virtually all signals suggest less of the […]

How much U.S. newspapers charge for digital subscriptions

The dual-revenue model of print advertising and home delivery subscriptions that historically sustained newspapers is fading. In its place, newspapers are pursuing new revenue growth through digital subscriptions. Weekday circulation for U.S. daily newspapers in 2016 declined for the 28th consecutive year, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center analysis. That analysis found weekday and Sunday […]

How to cover local refugee communities: Strategies for newsrooms and reporters

Overview The word “refugee” evokes a certain image: people fleeing persecution or war-torn areas, living under harsh refugee camp conditions, starting a new life in a foreign country. In reality, there are many different pictures. The refugees who resettled in America in 2016 alone represent 107 countries and varied educational, economic, religious and ethnic backgrounds. […]