Metrics and measurement

The American Press Institute offers publishers software tools and guidance to help them measure their content in new ways and form data-driven strategies. Read more about our Metrics for News program here, and see other recent insights about metrics and measurement below.

We’re working with news orgs on journalism’s biggest challenges in 2018 — you can get involved

All told, our team at the American Press Institute worked with journalists and leaders at nearly 100 local news organizations this year in our mission to help them become more audience-centered and innovative organizations. Those partners included newspapers and digital startups, public radio stations and local TV stations — organizations large and small. We helped […]

General election news coverage: What engages audiences down the ballot

  Summary As Election Day approaches, more people seek news and information about politics. To understand the habits of news audiences in the run-up to the election, we analyzed what was being covered in reporting about down-ballot, non-presidential races for U.S. Congress, governor, and local offices in the lead-up to the 2016 general election. The […]

Why we click on news stories

For news organizations, clicks are tracked closely. They generate advertising revenue and help newsrooms to better understand audience interests. But what motivates news users to click? The reasons are diverse and perhaps unexpected, according to a study forthcoming in the academic journal Journalism by Ph.D. candidate Tim Groot Kormelink and journalism studies professor Irene Costera […]

Facebook says it found more miscalculated metrics, this time in organic page reach and Instant Articles time spent

You might have heard: Facebook overestimated its average video viewing time metric by 60 percent to 80 percent for two years But did you know: After announcing earlier this fall that it had been overestimating video metrics, Facebook announced on Wednesday that it found more metrics errors in how it was calculating organic page reach, […]

Measuring investigative journalism’s impact on society: 8 good questions with James T. Hamilton

“The results of [investigative] reporting do not come cheaply, but they are a bargain to society,” James T. Hamilton writes in his new book Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism, out this month from Harvard University Press. Through his research, Hamilton, the Hearst Professor of Journalism at Stanford University, finds that while investigative journalism […]

How nonprofit newsrooms can use shareholder reports to show their impact

“The impact of nonprofit news is like any good story — if no one reads it or hears about it … your job is only halfway done,” the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s Lauren Fuhrmann and Mara Jezior write. To that end, the center publishes an annual report every November, which allows the communities it […]

Doubts around digital advertising are increasing after Facebook reveals it overestimated its video metrics

You might have heard: Facebook overestimated its average video viewing time metric by 60 percent to 80 percent for two years But did you know: “Marketers who have been pouring huge sums into digital advertising are wrestling with several recent events that add to a troubling picture,” Suzanne Vranica and Mike Shields write. “Some are finding […]

Going to ONA? Come visit API’s booth in the Midway!

If you’re heading to the Online News Association annual conference Sept. 15-17 in Denver, stop by the American Press Institute’s booth in the conference midway at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. From 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15,  we’ll be giving away free flash drives pre-loaded with plenty of teaching resources […]

50 new metrics to measure success in your journalism

Melody Kramer brainstorms a list of 50 ways to think about your analytics, broken down by basic analytics such as pageviews, social media analytics, engagement, and audio/video. Some of Kramer’s ideas: Number of people who sign up for a newsletter, number of citations in other news articles, percentage of page viewed, number of new listeners/viewers […]

When newsletters get longer, Clover Letter finds that it can be harder to accurately measure audience

Clover Letter, a newsletter targeted to teenage girls, noted a somewhat unexpected challenge of email newsletters: After a strong start with 70 percent open rates, founders Casey Lewis and Liza Darwin found their open rates started to drop after they began including more GIFs and other images. But it wasn’t necessarily that fewer people were […]