Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

API Summit: Creating a Culture of Listening

The American Press Institute held an invitation-only Thought Leader Summit on newsroom listening and dialogue projects on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 in Nashville, TN.

Creating a Culture of Listening: Using Dialogue to Bridge Divides gathered community-minded journalists, editors and nonprofit leaders who are pioneers of listening and dialogue projects in journalism. The event brought together people with a range of titles, all of whom have hands-on experience or big ideas on the ways journalists can better understand and serve the whole of their communities.

This summit built on API efforts to support newsroom practices that help news organizations serve the range of diverse audiences in their communities. At a time of eroding trust in news organizations and increasing polarization in politics, part of the solution is for newsrooms to use listening and dialogue to form deeper connections, understanding and trust across communities. At our summit, we held in-depth discussions on how to create organizational cultures that embrace listening, effective strategies for facilitating dialogue among divided community groups, and other topics.

Unlike a typical conference, the intimate, interactive summit allows each attendee to be an active participant, sharing their expertise and experiences while gaining actionable insights from others. Discussion topics for the day were surfaced in advance by invitees before arrival at the The Tennessean, our host for the event (and a news organization that is hosting in-person listening events with specific Nashville populations it wants to better understand and serve).

In the coming weeks, the best ideas will be distilled into a public resource related to listening and dialogue projects in journalism. Cole Goins, a community engagement consultant and former director of community engagement at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, assisted in planning the day and will also write the resource.

Participating organizations included, among others:


100 Days in Appalachia


Alabama Media Group


Bay Area News Group


Bowling Green Daily News


By the Bay


Chalkbeat TN


City Bureau


Colorado Public Radio


The Coral Project


Dallas Morning News


The Daily Yonder


EducationNC.org


The Evergrey


Fiskkit


Free Press


The Guardian


The GroundTruth Project


Hearken


Jefferson Center


Listening Post Collective


Membership Puzzle Project


Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media


National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation


Ohio County Monitor


On Being Project


Outlier Media


Peoria Journal Star


PRI


Richland Source


Solutions Journalism Network


St. Louis Public Radio


Syracuse University


Temple University


Texas Tribune


The Tyler Loop


WHYY

Space is limited at API Thought Leader Summits and participation is by invitation only; however, people interested in participating may apply for consideration. We look for individuals and organizations advancing the summit’s topic area, with efforts to show. We believe a diversity of lived experiences, skill sets and backgrounds makes these events successful.

For more information, contact Kevin Loker, API’s director of program operations and partnerships, at kevin.loker@pressinstitute.org.

Need to Know newsletter

The smart way to start your day

Each morning we scour the web for fresh useful insights in our Need to Know newsletter. Sign up below.

The American Press Institute

Our mission

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

Our programs for publishers focus on four things:

  • 1. Understand your audience
  • 2. Get your audience to pay
  • 3. Transform your culture
  • 4. Do your best journalism
  • Find out more about API »

API solutions for publishers

What we can do for you

API offers a suite of original tools and services for solving the biggest challenges in news:

  • Decide what beats to cover and how
  • Identify and develop the skills you need
  • Assess and improve your culture
  • Drive more reader revenue
  • Drive loyalty through accountability journalism
  • Make analytics work for you
  • Contact us to find out how »