Six news organizations and four expert coaches will participate in the American Press Institute’s product development sprint for alumni of the Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program, which strengthens local journalism through intensive change-management training for news leaders. 

API developed the program in partnership with the News Product Alliance, which is facilitating work and providing essential connections to other news product thinkers who will introduce the cohort to product fundamentals during the five-month sprint. During the program, teams will devise and develop product prototypes as they address problems their communities face. 

The cohort held its first meeting on Feb. 1.

The following news organizations will participate in the program: 

Participants will have the opportunity to apply for funding to support their product ideas at the conclusion of the cohort.

Cohort coaches Nation Hahn, Shannan Bowen, Nunzio Michael Lupo, Eric Ulken, Feli Carrique and Luciana Cardoso.

Left to right: cohort coaches Nation Hahn, Shannan Bowen, Nunzio Michael Lupo, Eric Ulken, Feli Carrique and Luciana Cardoso.

This year’s participants will receive expert coaching from the following news professionals:

  • Nation Hahn, director of growth for
  • Shannan Bowen, a product and audience development strategist based in North Carolina who also leads the NC Local News Workshop
  • Nunzio Michael Lupo, digital media consultant and executive; most recently with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as the senior director of emerging products and experimentation

Eric Ulken, product director for content capabilities at Gannett, will guide the team coaches. Ulken has coached in different iterations of the Table Stakes program. Feli Carrique, NPA’s executive director, and Luciana Cardoso, NPA’s vice chair, are also helping guide the coaches and teams. Nine additional product experts will serve as instructors throughout the program.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the News Product Alliance on this product sprint. The core Table Stakes programs have always included a focus on audiences,” said Emily Ristow, API’s director of local news transformation. “This program takes that to the next level, with teams diving deeper into that concept by learning more about the problems their audiences and communities face, and how their news organizations can develop products to better serve them.” 

“We are honored and excited to partner with API for the product sprint. We believe that the program will provide a rewarding educational experience for all participants,” said Cardoso of NPA. “Combining classes taught by news product experts with personalized mentorship from experienced coaches will greatly enrich learning. At the end of the program, we hope to have contributed to the creation or improvement of products in newsrooms.” 

The sprint program is funded by The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, a joint initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, which awarded API funding to continue managing Table Stakes through 2023.

For more information, please contact Emily Ristow at If you are interested in potentially participating in a similar program, please fill out this form.  

About the American Press Institute

The American Press Institute helps publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, 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 a financially 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.

About the News Product Alliance

News Product Alliance is a community of support and practice for news product thinkers. Its mission is to elevate the discipline of news product management and expand the diversity of news product thinkers in decision-making roles. It believes news product thinkers — those with the ability to strategically align business, audience and technology goals while integrating journalism ethics — are key to building sustainable and ethical news organizations.

About the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund

With a focus on sustainability and equity, The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund is designed to strengthen local journalism at scale, by supporting journalistic excellence and serving the information needs of communities. The Knight-Lenfest Fund collaborates with news organizations, leaders and communities to grow capacity and meet journalism’s technology, business, and audience realities of the future. It believes that journalism is at its best when it is of service. The Knight-Lenfest Fund is a joint venture of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

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