Understanding news audiences

We believe the future of journalism must involve news organizations better understanding the needs and behaviors of their audiences. To that end, we conduct innovative research into how Americans get news.

Below you will find other recent insights we have curated about how to reach and serve news audiences.

What it takes to shift a news organization to reader revenue

Launching a paywall is easy. Pivoting a whole business from an advertising-centric mindset to one focused on reader revenue is not. Despite 10 years of experimentation and increasing attention, the news industry still needs to develop some of the attitudes, technology and skills needed to sustain exceptional membership and subscription programs. To succeed with reader […]

Confusion about what’s news and what’s opinion is a big problem, but journalists can help solve it

People often don’t know whether the content they see is news or opinion, according to our recent pair of Media Insight Project surveys. In one survey, we asked people how easy or difficult it was to see the distinctions between news and opinion in media. Just over half of Americans say it’s easy to distinguish […]

Americans and the News Media: What they do — and don’t — understand about each other

This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project — an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research A key factor in the erosion of Americans’ trust of their news media is a failure to communicate — we have a public that doesn’t fully understand how journalists […]

What Americans know, and don’t, about how journalism works

People are strikingly unfamiliar with terms that many journalists use, probably without thinking — such as the difference between an editorial and a news story, what the term “attribution” means, or what an op‑ed is. Consider a few numbers. Fully 50 percent of the public say they are only a little familiar with the term […]

How does personal experience with news affect a person’s views?

The extent of personal experience a person has with journalism — including being covered or interviewed in the news, or having some education in journalism themselves — impacts how well a person understands news processes and concepts. We explored several ways adults may have had personal experiences with journalism. We then examined how those experiences […]

Levels of trust and how Americans feel about the fairness and accuracy of the press

Trust in the media overall has declined in the last year, but people’s trust in their favorite news outlet has grown. If we look at trust in the most general way, just under half (44 percent of adults) say their trust in the news has decreased in the last year. Fully 19 percent say it […]

How Americans describe their news consumption behaviors

Most Americans describe themselves as active news consumers. Sixty‑three percent report that they seek out news and information. Far fewer, 37 percent, say they mostly bump into news as they do other things or hear about it from others. Americans also report consuming news and information frequently. By a large majority, nearly two‑thirds of adults […]

Are newspaper subscribers more knowledgeable or approving of the news media?

Newspaper subscribers hold more positive views of many specific types of media — and have an easier time deciphering news from opinion — than do non-subscribers. Overall, 29 percent of Americans subscribe to a print or digital version of a newspaper. These subscribers tend to have more positive views than non‑subscribers on many components of […]

How much Republicans and Democrats trust or understand the news media

It should come as no surprise today that the partisan divide over news is a troubling and significant issue as the United States comes to grips with a polarized political landscape. The data, above, about general differences in many ways offer a path beyond those differences via efforts to increase clarity and transparency, among others. […]

What the public expects from the press (and what journalists think)

The public and journalists expect the same things from the news media. The public just doesn’t think it’s getting it. What do people want from journalists? Above all, the public says it wants accuracy — for the media to verify and get the facts right. Fully 87 percent rank that as extremely or very important, […]