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 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, […]

How younger and older Americans understand and interact with news

While the survey finds distinctions among attitudes and understanding of the media by factors like party and ideology, it also finds some significant and cautionary distinctions by age. Consistent with previous Media Insight Project research findings, and those of other research as well, the survey shows older Americans are more likely to seek out news, […]

Sign up to get a copy of our report on Creating a Culture of Listening

Update Sept. 4, 2018: The insights and takeaways from API’s Thought Leader Summit on newsroom listening have been published in our report “How a culture of listening strengthens reporting and relationships.” The American Press Institute held a Thought Leader Summit on newsroom listening and dialogue projects on March 27 in Nashville, TN. It gathered community-minded […]

Digital Paywall Converters subscribe because they want unlimited articles

Digital Paywall Converters are people who bought a digital subscription because they hit a limit of free stories they could read online and wanted unlimited access. Their willingness to subscribe is highly driven by seeing many interesting articles over time, as well as wanting to support local journalism. Demographically, they stand apart in many ways—Digital […]

Topic Hunters subscribe for news about a particular topic or issue

Topic Hunters are highly interested in one or two certain subjects—such as local politics or local college or high school sports—and this interest was a major motivation for them to subscribe. They look around for the best news available on these topics. They tend to be well educated (three-quarters have a college degree) and are […]

The Locally Engaged subscribe because they care about the community

The Locally Engaged are a group keenly interested in content about the community and its institutions, and they want to be engaged and informed locally. They say that access to local news is a major reason they wanted a subscription to the paper, and they closely follow news about local politics or their immediate town […]

Social Media-Mobile Discoverers subscribe after high-quality engagement on digital platforms

Social Media-Mobile Discoverers are subscribers who engage with the newspaper and its journalists on social media and read the paper on mobile devices. They get news on a cell phone often and use social media often, and they also interact with the newspaper through news alerts, following it or its journalists on social media, or […]

Journalism Advocates subscribe to support a free press

Journalism Advocates are motivated by wanting to support journalism, and for many, their immediate trigger to subscribe was either a concern about verbal attacks on the press or a response to messaging about quality journalism. Many Journalism Advocates rated their paper as reliable, noted the paper’s accuracy, and cited concerns about accuracy of other sources. […]

Life Changers subscribe because they just moved or changed jobs

Life Changers as a group decide to subscribe because of a transition in their own circumstances, not because of something the newspaper itself recently did. In many ways, this is a group publishers can take clear steps to identify. Many have just moved to the area, and they picked up their new local paper when […]

Coupon Clippers subscribe to get print coupons and save money

Coupon Clippers are pretty self-explanatory—these people decided to pay for the newspaper at least in part because they value the coupons they can cut out to save money in stores. They are less likely to closely follow the news content. Before subscribing, most of the Coupon Clippers used the paper’s coupons by buying individual copies, […]