The American Press Institute was founded in 1946 to train journalists throughout their careers with the skills they might need to stay ahead in a changing industry. Even then there was a realization that we and our businesses would need to change to meet the information needs of our communities. We have evolved to meet that need throughout our history, and now we’re unveiling the next iteration.
Today we’re introducing you to a new logo and a new look for our main website, and to new messaging, some of which our executive team and I have been gradually introducing over the past several months in speeches and presentations around the industry. Some of this work will continue as we align all of our web properties and social sites with this new direction. Our new website and visuals are intended to be welcoming and accessible and easy to navigate, no matter the platform. We hope they all create more clarity about what we do – and what we don’t. But one thing will remain the same: Our commitment to helping the journalism industry provide communities with the information they need to thrive.
Our team began this process in the summer of 2022. We identified our individual and shared values, and we talked about the meaning of our work, both to each of us personally and to the organization. We partnered with design coach and innovator Tran Ha to help us see the alignments with where the industry needs us to be. We are grateful for her guidance and deep thinking.
What you see today is work that our strategic communications firm Mission Partners helped carry across the finish line. They have listened, and they have prototyped. They have interviewed many of you, our partners, our clients, readers of our newsletters and users of our websites. They have tested, refined and retested. They have been enthusiastic and thoughtful collaborators in getting us to this moment.
Journalism has the ability to summon the best in us. But we know it too often falls short, reflecting too little of the diversity of we, the people, whether it be omissions of ethnicity, class, political views, rural populations, or just a fundamental misunderstanding of what real people’s lives are really about. But we pour our hearts and soul into it because most of us who choose to make careers in this industry believe in its power.
At the American Press Institute, I talk a lot with our team about the need to interrogate our own work, to think about the aspirational power of journalism, and to think about how we can better serve the media industry, to serve people and businesses like you and our neighbors. This process will never stop–and it shouldn’t.
Our new mission simply states:
We support local and community-based media through research, programs and products that foster healthy, responsive and resilient news organizations.
We divide how we approach this work into four focus areas that we believe are critical to our industry and to our country:
- Civic discourse and democracy: We work to ensure all people have the information they need to make decisions and thrive.
- Culture and inclusion: We mentor journalism professionals toward integrating diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in every aspect of their work.
- Community engagement and trust: We support news organizations as they build trusted relationships with their communities.
- Revenue and resilience: We provide news organizations with the tools and resources they need to think creatively and achieve overall wellness.
We believe that all of these elements are fundamental to long-term sustainability. Sustainability is the ultimate voyage, and our role is to help journalists and media leaders navigate the gray of uncertain futures–no matter the tumult of our times. Our products, programs and research are waypoints on that voyage, whether it be helping news organizations have better community relationships through the API Inclusion Index, become healthier organizations with our suite of private training offerings, improve their coverage with Source Matters, our tool that helps newsrooms track and improve the diversity of sources, or better understand their analytics with Metrics for News, our data dashboard that can be customized according to a newsroom’s needs.
Our work reflects our fervent belief that, for the health of our democracy, the press should be at the center of civic life. It’s why you’ll find community embedded in our new messaging and our new visuals, including a striking new logo. The design acknowledges our past, sets an energetic tone for our work in the present and leans into the future of journalism. The press is clearly at the heart of our work, but just as important is centering community and inclusivity; they are fundamental elements of who we are and what we do.
The four boxes that make up the American Press Institute’s new logo mark exist in a special proportion, the golden ratio, which artists, designers, mathematicians and scientists have championed since ancient times for the harmony of its proportions. When you look at our logo, you might see the silhouette of our one-time headquarters building, the elements of a newspaper layout, the foundation of a web page, or the grid of a neighborhood. The pattern reminds us that relationships are at the core of building thriving communities and an inclusive democracy, and the free flow of quality news and information is an essential part of both.
At the American Press Institute, we are committed to building trusted, long-term relationships—between news organizations and their communities and among journalists and media leaders. Journalism has the power to connect our communities, to bring out the best in what our society can be. Our goal is to help us all get there.