Samantha Ragland, an experienced journalist, educator and digital strategist, will join the American Press Institute as Vice President of Journalism Programs. Ragland is currently a member of the faculty at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies where she also serves as director of the Leadership Academy for Women in Media.
“Samantha is an accomplished journalist, a proven mentor and a thoughtful career coach who deeply understands the crises facing local and regional news organizations,” said Michael D. Bolden, the CEO and Executive Director of the American Press Institute. “She will be an expert thought partner in helping us build a resilient and supportive culture for our team at API, but most important, under her leadership we will expand our programs to better support journalists and news organizations who are trying to navigate through the uncertainty of today’s marketplace.”
As VP of Journalism Programs, Ragland will lead API’s efforts to promote cultural transformation and business sustainability in media, helping news organizations serve diverse readers and communities more effectively. She will lead API’s journalism programs portfolio, including:
- The Table Stakes Local News Transformation program
- Beyond Print, our newest initiative in partnership with The Lenfest Institute to help guide publishers away from print-centric revenue models
- API’s work on diversity and inclusion in newsrooms, like the API Inclusion Index
- Change management coaching for news companies of all sizes
As API enters a new era and seeks to better address the urgent needs of media organizations, Ragland will work with other members of the executive team to help reset the nonprofit’s strategic goals.
“Who wouldn’t be excited to join an organization so focused on the health and sustainability of the news industry?” Ragland said. “I’m that Kentucky kid who has loved local news since she read the sports section of the Henderson County Gleaner on her dad’s lap. And API is doing the kind of work that will drive reader relationships with local news for generations to come. This work is absolutely imperative. I have always said I don’t care about the shape local news takes so long as there is local news that represents its community and amplifies community voices.”
While at Poynter, Ragland created custom workshops based on newsroom needs, including trauma and resiliency training developed in collaboration with clinical psychologists. She was also co-director of the Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship program for early-career reporters. Ragland regularly taught subjects such as overcoming imposter syndrome, increasing creativity and collaboration, managing digital strategy, building a resilient team culture and more.
Ragland has 14 years of news industry experience and previously led digital content strategy at the USA Today Network and managed digital storytelling at The Palm Beach Post. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Western Kentucky University. She’s an active member of and coach for digitalwomenleaders.com.
Ragland will begin her role with the American Press Institute on Sept. 6, 2022.
About the American Press Institute
The American Press Institute advances an innovative and sustainable news industry by helping publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, improve public-service journalism, and succeed at organizational change. We believe that for democracies to thrive, people need accurate news and information about their communities, the problems of civil society and the debates over how to solve them. That requires an economically sustainable free press that reflects the diversity of American society and understands the needs of its communities. API is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the News/Media Alliance.