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API Field Notes: We’re helping metro newspapers use metrics to better understand their audience

Two people from the American Press Institute are in Detroit today to work on newsroom culture and analytics with teams from local newspapers from Detroit, Omaha, Sacramento and Pittsburgh. The meeting is part of the Knight Temple Lenfest News Initiative.1

Our Director of Content Strategy Liz Worthington is showing the teams how to get the most insights out of the Metrics for News program they are all using to increase audience engagement. That analytics tool lets you 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

API’s Director of Newsroom Learning Amy Kovac-Ashley is also there helping the same publishers address cultural issues within their newsrooms. Part of Amy’s role is to conduct API’s skills assessment in each newsroom — to find out what skills they have and what they need, and create a plan for filling the gaps. She’ll also visit some of their offices to host a workshop that delves into the newsroom culture and helps them succeed at change.

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.

  1. The Knight Temple Lenfest News Initiative is a year-long program that helps these newsrooms undertake major organizational change. The main program is limited to a handful of major metro papers each year, but there are companion programs hosted by the Poynter Institute and University of North Carolina that many more publishers can join. API is one of the collaborators in running the program and we share many of the lessons learned on, where we curate resources to help news innovators everywhere.

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The American Press Institute

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Our programs for publishers focus on four things:

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