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.

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 […]

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 revenue […]

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. […]

The 3 types of news subscribers: Why they pay and how to convert them

Introduction Who pays for news? Why do they pay? Who does not pay for news and why not? Earlier this year, we conducted a nationally representative survey to answer these fundamental questions facing the news industry. In the second phase of the Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and The Associated […]

Help Wanted: The ultimate social media job description

What does an effective social media team look like? Scott Kleinberg says it starts with a leadership position that solidifies social media as an integral part of journalism, not just an afterthought. Kleinberg, a social media editor at Crain Communications in New York, was a longtime social media editor for the Chicago Tribune and author […]

Engaging your audiences (even the difficult ones): More ideas from the experts

Listening to audiences is a practice that’s gotten lost in the crush of heavy workloads and small staffs. From the American Press Institute’s Manager study: “Notably, only one-fifth said that ‘news is a two-way conversation.’ This may reflect a lack of enthusiasm towards comments on news sites, or other forms of audience interaction, such as […]

Need to Know newsletter

The smart way to start your day

Each morning we scour the web for fresh useful insights in our Need to Know newsletter. Sign up below.

The American Press Institute

Our mission

We help transform news organizations for an audience-centered future.

Our programs for publishers focus on four things:

  • 1. Understand your audience
  • 2. Get your audience to pay
  • 3. Transform your culture
  • 4. Do your best journalism
  • Find out more about API »

API solutions for publishers

What we can do for you

API offers a suite of original tools and services for solving the biggest challenges in news:

  • Decide what beats to cover and how
  • Identify and develop the skills you need
  • Assess and improve your culture
  • Drive more reader revenue
  • Drive loyalty through accountability journalism
  • Make analytics work for you
  • Contact us to find out how »