API Field Notes: How analytics grow audiences, cultural change in newsrooms and ‘information disorders’

On Sunday June 3 our Assistant Program Manager Katie Kutsko presented at the 2018 INMA World Congress editor’s retreat on metrics that matter to journalists. She discussed how to decide what to cover — and what not to cover; how to use analytics to grow audience and deepen engagement; how to influence newsroom culture; and how to discover how metrics can align with your values and organization’s mission.

She also shared insights from API’s Metrics for News program, an analytics tool that allows you to track the journalism characteristics of your content to see what works, and measures engagement in new ways by blending many metrics into a single score. It is open to all publishers, and you can learn more at metricsfornews.com. A copy of Katie’s full presentation is available here.

Director of Newsroom Learning Amy Kovac-Ashley is out and about in the next couple of weeks as part of our work with the Knight Temple Lenfest Newsroom Initiative (sometimes called Table Stakes).

First up is a visit to the Omaha World-Herald, where she’s spending a few days listening to the newsroom staff and managers about their internal newsroom culture and how it relates to their goal of becoming a more data-driven, community-focused news organization. She’ll talk in small groups with people from all over the newsroom — reporters, photographers, copy editors, digital editors and managers — about their experiences and hear their ideas for how the newsroom can improve its workflows to serve audiences better.

Amy will do similar exercises the next week with the Sacramento Bee, which is focused on finding new ways to reach audiences who live and work in California’s capital city and who are invested in what happens there. The Sacramento newsroom is coming off of an important primary election season in the state, so it will be a great time to visit. (California is also her home state, so she’s excited for a little jaunt to the West Coast.)

If you’re in either area, give Amy a shout on Twitter.

Jane Elizabeth, API’s Director of Accountability Journalism, will spend this week at an “Information Disorders” conference at Harvard Law School. The invitation-only symposium will bring together researchers, technologists, journalists, policymakers and funders to discuss the implications of mis/disinformation in a democracy.

Next week, Jane will join experts at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications to discuss how behavioral and social science research can help newsrooms become more engaged with their communities.

​Jane Elizabeth was also interviewed recently by a Virginia NPR station on the sale of The Virginian-Pilot to Tronc. Listen to the full interview here.

Field Notes are brief updates about what API’s team is doing out in the world to help transform newsrooms and spread audience-centered practices. If you want more information or to get involved in any of these things, please contact us.