The Media Insight Project will focus on understanding changing news audiences

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Press Institute (API), The Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago announced today that they have formed a new joint research initiative to better understand news audiences. The new program will be called the Media Insight Project and will draw on the resources of API and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Leading the project are API Executive Director Tom Rosenstiel and AP-NORC Center Director Trevor Tompson. Rosenstiel, an author, journalist, researcher and media critic, is one of the nation’s most recognized thought leaders on the future of media. Tompson is an internationally noted expert on public opinion research and a former global director of polling for AP.

The first study of the Media Insight Project will illuminate the “Personal News Cycle” and will show how people follow news stories across time and media platforms, from where they heard about it first to their behavior in seeking more information in the hours and days after. The main report from the study will be released on March 18 at the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) MediaXchange 2014 conference in Denver.

“Understanding the rapidly changing behavior of news audiences is the key to journalism thriving in the future. That requires new research and new ways of asking questions. The people at AP-NORC represent the perfect mix of the highest research standards and deep understanding of news across many platforms,” said Rosenstiel.

“We are thrilled to be working with Tom Rosenstiel and the American Press Institute on this important initiative,” said Tompson. “We created the AP-NORC Center to serve the news industry by making the best social science research available to journalists and the public in order to promote a greater understanding of social trends. The goals of the Media Insight Project align perfectly with the mission of the AP-NORC Center.”

“This research will give a deeper understanding of how people are getting their news,” said AP Vice President and Senior Managing Editor Michael Oreskes. “That will help both society and the news industry and AP is pleased to support this initiative.”

Researchers from API and the AP-NORC Center will coordinate with news leaders from AP and other news organizations to develop research projects and resources, and will conduct workshops and meetings to help promote greater understanding of news audiences.


Founded in 1946, The American Press Institute conducts research, training, convenes thought leaders and creates tools to help chart a path ahead for journalism in the 21st century. The Press Institute is an educational non-advocacy 501(c)3 nonprofit organization affiliated with the Newspaper Association of America. It aims to help the news media, especially local publishers and newspaper media, advance in the digital age.

NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research organization headquartered in downtown Chicago with additional offices on the University of Chicago’s campus and in the D.C. Metro area. NORC also supports a nationwide field staff as well as international research operations. With clients throughout the world, NORC collaborates with government agencies, foundations, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to provide data and analysis that support informed decision making in key areas including health, education, economics, crime, justice, and energy. NORC’s 70 years of leadership and experience in data collection, analysis, and dissemination—coupled with deep subject matter expertise—provides the foundation for effective solutions.

About AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP. On the Web:


Contact: For more information contact Eric Young for NORC at or (cell) 703-217-6814; Ray Boyer for NORC at or 312-330-6433; Paul Colford for AP at or; Millie Tran for American Press Institute at

A PDF version is available here.

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