Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Community engagement

How to tell if your culture has truly adapted to a reader revenue focus

Becoming a reader-focused organization is not about technology or data. This report provides a framework for building those tools, but they are just tools. Growing engagement and shifting to reader revenue requires actions across the organization that authentically support an audience-focused mission. Truly pivoting to readers is a cultural transformation, not a development project. A […]

What it really means to shift to reader revenue

Let’s consider what it means to truly shift your business to prioritize reader revenues. Because to fully commit to that change, you have to commit to a new focus on trust, loyalty, data, and understanding your audiences. A “pivot” to reader revenue is a pivot to trust The consumer’s journey to subscribing is simple in […]

How listening can benefit your business model

Much of the discussion on listening and relationship-building focuses on trust and how newsrooms can forge deeper connections with communities who may feel misrepresented, marginalized or misled by the newsroom’s coverage. But how does a culture of listening help a news organization’s bottom line? Many summit participants admitted they had more work to do to […]

Creating and supporting roles that sustain a culture of listening

If newsrooms truly want to support a culture of listening, leadership should think about how the skills, roles and makeup of the staff need to change and evolve. Diversity among newsroom staff, a longstanding and persistent issue in the industry, becomes even more imperative. Having a variety of backgrounds and perspectives represented will help build […]

How to optimize your reporting workflow for listening

Faced with shrinking newsrooms and often increasing responsibilities, finding the time to listen and build relationships can seem like a luxury that most reporters don’t have. The key is finding ways to thread these practices into the fabric of your reporting. Listening can become a core part of your process, not an extra thing you […]

How to find or create spaces for listening to people

From Facebook groups to baby showers, participants at our Nashville summit offered examples of creative and compelling ways journalists can be present in existing community spaces, or design new opportunities to listen to different communities. Finding the right spaces to listen A common refrain from listening-focused journalists, and community engagement advocates in general, is to […]

Embodying key principles and ethics of deep listening

Listening can help news organizations inform and enrich their journalism. It also challenges reporters to pursue new and sometimes different relationships with people in their communities, going outside the typically transactional nature of journalism. “Our current approach to listening, dialogue and engagement in general is episodic and sporadic,” said Linda Miller, director of network journalism […]

How to decide whom your newsroom needs to listen to

To listen more deeply, newsrooms must first determine who should be the focus of their listening. One of the first questions we asked participants at our summit in Nashville was: “Whom do you want to listen to more in your work?” We distributed Post-Its and had everyone write down specific individuals, groups or communities that […]

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 […]

What journalists can learn from their local TV weather forecast

Earlier this month, the American Press Institute presented an idea that we believe could help with two challenges confronting journalism: a continuing decline in trust by much of the public, and a lack of understanding about media and its functions. We believe that if stories are built differently — using forms that follow a philosophy […]

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The American Press Institute

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

Our programs for publishers focus on four things:

  • 1. Understand your audience
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