Reports

API 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 — strategy studies that help publishers form their own plans, survey research analysis that explores the needs of modern news audiences, and white papers that share insights from in-person events.

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 […]

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 […]

How the press and public can find common purpose

The vast majority of Americans value their right, as well as that of the press, to question authority figures. But only a third have a lot of confidence in their own ability to challenge leaders if needed. This is a key insight that emerges from a new American Press Institute survey conducted in collaboration with […]

Getting it Right: Strategies for truth-telling in a time of misinformation and polarization

There was a time when being a journalist meant pursuing a story by reporting the available information from as many sources as possible, writing the piece, and getting it published in print and online. How quaint that now seems. Today’s media environment requires reporters and editors to be detectives of misinformation, and then be prepared […]

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 […]

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 […]

Confusion about what’s news and what’s opinion is a big problem, but journalists can help solve it

People often don’t know whether the content they see is news or opinion, according to our recent pair of Media Insight Project surveys. In one survey, we asked people how easy or difficult it was to see the distinctions between news and opinion in media. Just over half of Americans say it’s easy to distinguish […]

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 […]