Applications are now closed.

The American Press Institute envisions an inclusive democracy and society, where communities have the news and information they need to make decisions and thrive. Driven by that, we will host our next API Local News Summit on helping local and community-based media leaders plan for local election coverage that is responsive to their communities. We want them to consider how that energy builds to something more robust and sustained. 

News leaders must steward resources well in this moment, prioritizing coverage and engagement that speaks to local information needs and the questions that people have about their community’s future. The outcomes of races for mayor, judgeships, school boards and local ballot referendums affect people deeply and daily. 

Those resource decisions should also account for how election coverage this year lays the groundwork for deeper engagement on civic discourse and democracy after the results are final. “​​Democracy goes far beyond Election Day,” said new Knight Foundation President and CEO Maribel Pérez Wadsworth as she opened the recent Knight Media Forum. “Sustaining democracy is the hard work every day after.” 

Request to attend the API Local News Summit on Elections, Trust and Democracy

The API Local News Summit on Elections, Trust and Democracy is invitation-based, but we want to grow the network of those empowering their communities to make decisions in elections and beyond. Many work in different mediums or silos, unaware of others who are experimenting with new ways of covering elections and supporting civic discourse. If you have ideas about how news leaders can shepherd resources to attract and retain new audiences for election reporting and related journalism — and especially if you are working on this yourself — we’d like to extend this call for participation in our summit. 

The API Local News Summit on Elections, Trust and Democracy is scheduled for April 3-4 in Akron, Ohio, and is specifically designed for leaders making decisions about how they cover elections and contribute to civic discourse. 

This summit will gather approximately 60 media leaders and non-journalism experts in Akron. This backdrop highlights the importance of decisions being made in newsrooms across the country that will deeply affect the coverage of elections in the American heartland and beyond. 

We are open to people with various responsibilities and titles from commercial and nonprofit media of all platforms: newspapers, independent online publishers, nonprofit news sites, public media, TV, newsletter hosts and other culture-pushing community managers. We believe the local and community news industry deserves a community of practice across media types, united in the belief that the press must effectively cover and emphasize not only voting but a range of democratic behaviors. 

Around the country, API’s partner news organizations have made their local election coverage stand out amid attention on national races:

Our partner news organizations also cover and support behaviors that matter to democracy:

If these or similar efforts speak to you or describe your work, please consider this opportunity.

Request an invitation for the remaining spots at our summit via this form by Wednesday, March 6, at 11:59 p.m. ET. API has a limited amount of travel funds to help offset participation costs, allowing those invited to request up to $500 to cover travel and lodging. 

In the coming months, expect more from API on local elections via our Need to Know newsletter and our website.

Sponsors or funders help make API Local News Summits accessible and equitable and enable insights to extend beyond the summit room. For this event, we are grateful for support from The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism and other donors. If you’re also interested in supporting this summit or API’s wider focus on Civic Discourse and Democracy, please email

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