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Welcome API’s new director of accountability journalism, Susan Benkelman

Susan Benkelman headshot

Susan Benkelman joins API as the director of accountability journalism.

API is excited to announce that Susan Benkelman will join our team as director of our Accountability Journalism Program on Friday, Oct. 26.

Susan joins API from The Wall Street Journal, where she served as news editor, helping to shape its journalism across several platforms, and most recently playing a key role in reconceiving the Journal’s Washington email newsletter. Previously, she managed a range of high-profile beats, including Congress, health care, trade and technology. Before joining the WSJ, Susan was senior vice president and editorial director at CQ Roll Call in Washington, D.C., where she ran a news operation of 160 journalists who reported on Congress and emerging legislation, and launched a suite of products aimed at legal professionals. She also oversaw the redesign and repositioning of Roll Call’s print and online publications to reflect a shift in the organization’s business model.

Susan replaces API’s former director of accountability journalism Jane Elizabeth, who is now managing editor of The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

“We are thrilled to have Susan joining API, with her experience, creativity and style,” says API executive director Tom Rosenstiel. “Susan brings a wonderful combination of looking forward and having a deep grasp of journalism’s foundation. It is rare to find someone so talented in new products and thinking who also brings such experience. Jane Elizabeth did a superb job of building the foundation of API’s work on fact-checking and accountability journalism. Susan will now put her own stamp on it.”

“There is no better time to be an advocate for accountability journalism,” says Susan. “We’ve always known that readers are engaged and informed by journalism that holds institutions of power to account. Increasingly, we have data to back up the notion that accountability journalism is not a luxury — it’s a business imperative as well. Readers not only eagerly consume investigative journalism, fact-checking and other story forms that check our government, businesses and other institutions — they expect it. I look forward to diving in.”

In her new role, Susan will continue building partnerships with news organizations to improve their fact-checking and accountability journalism practices. She’ll also play a leading role in developing new research and tools to help publishers in this effort. To get in touch with Susan or to be involved in API’s accountability work, email her at susan.benkelman@pressinstitute.org, or find her on Twitter.

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