API Executive Director Tom Rosenstiel

The American Press Institute announced today that after nine years of innovative growth, Executive Director Tom Rosenstiel will be joining the faculty at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill School of Journalism as the Eleanor Merrill Visiting Professor on the Future of Journalism.

“While Tom’s decision to resign is a tremendous loss for us, we know that the University of Maryland has gained a true visionary in journalism,” said David Chavern, President and CEO of the News Media Alliance and American Press Institute. “Tom turned API into a cutting-edge source for insights into the future of news publishing. We commend him on his exemplary leadership and know that he will continue to shape and mentor students of journalism and the business of news.”

When Rosenstiel joined API in January 2013, the organization had recently merged with the Newspaper Association of America’s Foundation. Its staff had been reduced to a single person and most programming had been suspended.

In the eight and a half years since, API has emerged as a leader in the search for making local journalism sustainable. It produces groundbreaking audience research in partnership with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago. API has also developed apps, such as its Metrics for News program, an analytics tool that helps news publishers convert their conventional analytics into meaningful journalistic data for more effective audience strategies. It has become a leader in culture change, managing for the Knight Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund its major market “Table Stakes” program, which prepares publishers for a digital future. It has developed a new source auditing software and listening program that will help publishers better reflect the voices in their community. And it has been a leader in partnership with its affiliate, Trusting News, in helping news organizations become more transparent. API is now a skilled team of more than a dozen people and continues to grow.

“Tom’s leadership at API has been exemplary,” said Kevin Mowbray, Chair of API’s Board of Trustees. “Most notably, Tom and his team at API led the charge to help publishers understand critical data and analytics to effectively drive audience strategies that are critical to the sustainability of local journalism.”

Rosenstiel is the author of 10 books, including three novels, and a new fourth edition of his classic Elements of Journalism, written with Bill Kovach, will be published in August by Penguin Random House. He is the former founder of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, one of the five founding projects of the Pew Research Center, and for a decade covered the news media and politics for the Los Angeles Times. At the University of Maryland, he will focus on the future of local news and the role of media in democratic society.

It is anticipated that Rosenstiel will begin his position with the University of Maryland in the Fall term and will remain with API in the interim. The Board of Trustees of API will conduct a nationwide search for the Executive Director position. Chavern added, “We look forward to what the future holds for API and to identifying a successor to lead the organization upon his departure. Tom has positioned the organization for continued great success, and the possibilities are endless.”

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