Deadline extended: Apply to assess and improve your 2020 elections coverage with API’s Metrics for News

*The new deadline is Sept. 15, 2020

The American Press Institute has reopened applications for free access to an analytics program that will help publishers track and improve their 2020 elections coverage based on audience needs and engagement. The analytics tool, along with coaching from API staff and connections to a cohort of newsrooms focused on improving their elections coverage, will be available at no cost for up to to 60 newsrooms from now through the November elections. 

The newly developed election dashboards are a feature of API’s Metrics for News analytics tool. Metrics for News is a strategic tool that enables newsrooms to simplify data and act on analytics to more deeply engage their audiences, attract new ones and grow reader revenue. As the elections inch closer, the dashboards will help publishers not only analyze the engagement of their current coverage but also access up to three months of historic data to include elections-related coverage they have published so far. The ability to make the dashboards available for free to so many newsrooms is thanks to a generous grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Interested newsrooms, who aren’t already Metrics for News partners, can apply here by Sept. 15, 2020.

These new dashboards can help publishers better understand what is connecting with their communities in their elections reporting, learn which audiences are particularly engaging with their work and identify ways to improve coverage of voting, misinformation, and other topics. It also complements existing API initiatives to help news organizations improve their elections coverage including the Trusted Elections Network, also funded with support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

Example elections dashboard

An example what part of the elections dashboard looks like. (Click to expand)

In addition to the dashboards, API will provide training, coaching calls and resources to help the selected newsrooms use metrics to easily identify audience needs and develop data-informed strategies aimed at growing and deepening engagement. All existing Metrics for News partners will also have access to these election-specific dashboards, plus the many other advanced features that help with deeper data analysis. 

Among the sort of questions the dashboards can help answer:

  • Which stories about the upcoming elections are connecting most with the community, including new users?
  • Are stories about absentee ballots and mail-in voting driving more engagement than stories about the candidates?
  • Is certain kinds of reporting, such as  “service journalism” stories, engaging certain audiences and not others?

What’s included in the elections dashboards in Metrics for News?

In this limited version of Metrics for News, staffers across the newsroom — from reporters to editors to audience development managers — will be able to view key elections-focused dashboards customized to your newsroom’s goals and business model. These will include:

  • Custom funnel analytics that will measure audience loyalty, whether that is defined by online subscriptions, newsletter subscriptions, or donations.
Shows the top of the new newsletter subscribers dashboard

An example of the top of a “new newsletter subscribers” dashboard. (Click to expand)

  • Custom audience segments that will show engagement with your journalism by local readers, social media users, users who are new to your site, users who have been to your site before, and readers between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • A topic dashboard focusing on all elections-related reporting that will show engagement with your journalism by any of the audience and funnel segments listed above.
Shows stories on an elections dashboard

Some example story records from an elections dashboard. (Click to expand)

  • 3 custom elections-related topics that will show engagement with your journalism by any of the audience and funnel segments listed above for topics decided on by your newsroom. Examples include local electoral races, absentee ballots, voter education, and more.
One elections version navigation example

An example of a navigation menu including the three custom topics chosen by a partner newsroom. (Click to expand)

Who can apply? 

We are looking for newsrooms based in the United States and committed to public-service journalism. Preference will be given to news organizations meeting any of the following criteria (though others may apply):

  • Newspapers, TV, radio or online-only media serving a small, mid-size or rural area
  • Place-based media serving particular marginalized audiences (e.g. ethnic media, religious media)
  • Nonprofit news organizations
  • Journalism startups
  • Members of the Trusted Elections Network

What is the deadline? To apply, interested news organizations must fill out an application form by 11:59 p.m. EST Sept. 15, 2020 answering questions about their newsroom, how they use analytics now and how they want Metrics for News to help them. You can view a recording of an informational session about Metrics for News here, during which we demonstrate Metrics for News and the elections dashboard. Questions? You can reach us anytime at

What is Metrics for News?

Metrics for News is a project of the American Press Institute. It is a web-based application that moves publishers beyond page views. The highly customizable tool blends key metrics newsrooms care about into single engagement scores, provides access to funnel analytics, targets specific audiences, and surfaces data by newsroom priorities. The app includes dashboards designed for specific newsroom roles — from staffer to senior manager — to simplify analytics, automate insights and answer important audience questions. For more information, contact