Where you can find API at ONA21

API is participating in sessions on source diversity, organizational buy-in and employee burnout; our affiliate Trusting News is leading a conversation on building trust through better crime coverage.

The past two years have seen a lot of change and growth at API. We’ve worked hard to help newsrooms better understand their audiences through analytics, to restore trust in their reporting, and to disrupt (in a good way) their traditional modes of business. But we have a lot to continue learning in these areas, which is why we’re especially looking forward to ONA21. API staffers will be moderating or leading sessions throughout the three-day conference, and we hope these sessions will be just as much a chance to learn from our fellow attendees as they are to share what we’ve learned.

Here’s where you can find API (virtually) at ONA21. We hope to see you there!

On Tuesday, June 22 at 2:45 p.m., Liz Worthington, director of API’s Metrics for News analytics platform, will be moderating the discussion “Audit Your Source Diversity to Better Reflect the Communities You Serve.” The session is for journalists and newsroom leaders who are looking for tools to help better understand who informs their reporting — and who doesn’t. It will cover different source auditing tools and techniques used by KQED, WHYY, Wisconsin Public Radio and Chalkbeat. These newsrooms will also share their goals around building culturally competent newsrooms, of which source diversity tracking is just one piece of a larger effort.

As part of the conversation on tools, API will also introduce a new product that can help newsrooms looking for a solution to make the process of source auditing easier.

On Wednesday, June 23 at 12 p.m., Amy Kovac-Ashley, vice president and senior director of API, will facilitate one of the featured ONA Table Talk sessions on “Rethinking Organizational Structures That Cause Burnout.” Participants can join the breakout room focusing on the aspect they most wish to address in their own newsroom; Amy will facilitate the breakout room on the connection between burnout and unsustainable workloads.

On Wednesday, June 23 at 3:30 p.m., Emily Ristow, who directs the Local News Transformation Program (more commonly known as “Table Stakes”), will be moderating an ONA Table Talk on “Tools for Getting Your Organization On Board for Change.” The discussion will be focused on “best practices and tools to help make change,” how to solicit buy-in from employees, and techniques for spreading change through an organization.

The Table Stakes program teaches change management skills to people working in newsrooms. The newsrooms that participate in Table Stakes undertake specific — and significant — change management initiatives, including diversifying their revenue streams and embracing new digital platforms. Many of the lessons gained from the Table Stakes program are shared by the participating newsrooms on BetterNews.org, so that others can replicate their successes.

Also on Wednesday, June 23 at 3:30 p.m., Trusting News Director Joy Mayer is moderating an ONA Book Club meeting on Ethan Zuckerman’s “Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them.” The book examines the decrease in recent years of public trust in major institutions — government, the press, big business and health care systems, among others. It also looks at new paths to civic engagement beyond traditional methods like voting and protesting. Trusting News, which has been affiliated with API since 2019, works directly with newsrooms to help them gain (or regain) trust with audiences, particularly with groups that are traditionally skeptical of the media, like conservatives and communities of color.

Joy is also co-leading a session on Thursday, June 24 at 10:30 a.m. on “Redesigning Crime Coverage To Reduce Harm and Actually Serve Communities.” The session will look at how traditional conventions in crime reporting, like publishing mugshots and arrest reports, can damage community trust. It will also help attendees set better goals for their crime reporting — like minimizing harm to subjects, more accurately reflecting communities and helping them find solutions. Trusting News partner newsrooms have explored how to be consistent, transparent and accountable to their communities around responsible crime coverage, and the session (co-led by Martin Reynolds of the Maynard Institute) will show examples and share resources.