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.

‘I Ignored Trump News for a Week. Here’s What I Learned.’

Farhad Manjoo spent last week avoiding news about Trump, not to “stick my head in the sand” but to “learn about the modern news media by looking at how thoroughly Mr. Trump had subsumed it.” After finding it hard to find Trump-free news and coming across important stories that aren’t shared as widely, Manjoo asks […]

A reader’s take on news’ trust problem: News organizations aren’t providing enough context, depth or understanding for readers

“It’s 2017, and it’s time to face the reality that our world is changing. That means you need to change too. I don’t think you guys realize how badly our relationship has been suffering,” USC student Darrell Florence writes as part of a series from USC Annenberg’s Media Center on how products affect trust in […]

How to use design thinking to engage with your community

“The process of design thinking is as follows: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. Ideally, this is how one would go about creating anything, right? But us journalists often skip the first two steps,” CUNY grad student Ghita Benslimane writes. “Empathizing with and defining a community’s problems and goals are crucial parts in any successful […]

A digital news reader’s bill of rights

“Journalists have long had the bad habit of holding readers in contempt. Maybe not an individual person, but certainly the audience as a whole,” Andrew Dunn writes. Dunn suggests a “bill of rights” for digital news readers, that puts the onus on news organizations to “treat our readers like the intelligent adults that they are.” […]

5 ways to build trust with your readers going into 2017

Studies have shown that trust in the media is at an all-time low. Especially after a particularly contentious election season, building relationships with readers is essential for newsrooms. Research from API shows that building trust with readers is not only a journalistic aspiration, but a business imperative. People who put a higher premium on trust […]

‘The media didn’t want to believe Trump could win. So they looked the other way.’

You might have heard: Donald Trump is elected 45th president of the United States (NPR), despite polls and predictive models that indicated a win for Clinton (Politico) But did you know: “To put it bluntly, the media missed the story,” Margaret Sullivan writes. “In the end, a huge number of American voters wanted something different. And although these […]

The New Yorker’s editor in chief on what it means to be a legacy publisher in 2016: Readers aren’t looking for a cheaper, dumber version

“We have longstanding values and that’s never going to change,” New Yorker editor in chief David Remnick tells Digiday about what it means to be a legacy publisher in 2016. “At the same time, I live in the contemporary world and am completely alive to the possibility and complications of change. … What’s changed is […]

When journalists get their info from social media, audiences find the reports less credible

Press conferences, interviews, telephone calls — these are the traditional ways in which journalists source their stories. Today, however, many more options are available. From Facebook to Twitter to Google, journalists have many new ways to track down information to inform their reporting. But what do audiences think about these techniques? Do readers think social […]

How the rise of mobile could create a ‘a second-class digital citizenship’ of less informed news consumers

According to a new report from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, the rise of mobile has a dark side that could lead to the creation of a less engaged, “second-class digital citizenship” made up of less informed news consumers. Somewhat paradoxically, the report’s research Joanna Dunaway says that smartphones are an imperfect tool for consuming news, due […]

India’s The Quint is taking cues from Vice and Mic on how to connect with younger audiences

Indian news outlet The Quint is a digital-only outlet that provides news for younger generations in both English and Hindi. Before founding the Quint, co-founders Ritu Kapur and Raghav Bahl say they looked to other news organizations for clues on how to successfully reach younger audiences: “It was clear to us that it was about […]