The American Press Institute is excited to announceA photo of Jan Ross P. Sakian that Jan Ross P. Sakian has joined API’s team as a Program/Community Manager. Sakian will work within the journalism programs team to co-design, manage and help grow our Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program alumni community. The Table Stakes alumni network spans programs and organizations across the country and provides principles, resources and training necessary to drive sustainable change across local news organizations.

Sakian, who has participated in the Table Stakes program herself, will work on virtual and in-person programming. She will advise, counsel and educate alumni organizations on refining digital and product strategy, supporting change management and formulating engaging professional development for the larger community. Sakian will also serve as a joint point of contact for the Table Stakes Alumni Advisory Board.

“Jan Ross brings deep experience in training, project management and cross-team collaboration that will help us build up our alumni offerings,” said Emily Ristow, API’s Director of Local News Transformation. “We are so excited to have her join our team and API to support local news organizations to meet the needs of all of the communities they serve, and help individual alumni grow as news leaders.”

Sakian is a multimedia professional focused on strategic planning, project management and skills-based training in the nonprofit media space. Prior to the American Press Institute, she was a founding contributor to The Texas Newsroom, a collection of public radio stations in Texas and the first regional hub launched in NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network. Serving in both editorial and coordinating capacities, she specialized in the curation of professional development opportunities, standards & practices and collaborative initiatives.

“Jan Ross is a decorated journalist with a record of prioritizing care throughout her work as a producer and within her work in newsroom support,” said Sam Ragland, API’s Vice President of Journalism Programs. “She brings an unshakable faith in the local news industry and those journalists who aim to see it thrive. We can’t wait to come alongside her, lifting her work and being lifted by her.” 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sakian launched and managed a number of news products serving the South Texas area. She was also a coordinating producer on award-winning coverage of statewide breaking news events, including the Sutherland Springs and El Paso shootings. Sakian was a 2019 Gwen Ifill Fellow, and is an alum of the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change (2014), NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project (2016) and The Poynter Institute’s Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media (2020).

“I am thrilled to join the phenomenal team at The American Press Institute,” Sakian said. “Their values of supporting civic discourse and democracy through strong insights and innovation are well aligned with my hope and vision for a sustainable, accountable free press. I look forward to creating more value-add opportunities and resources for newsrooms across the country.”

Working alongside Kamaria Roberts, API’s deputy director of local news transformation, Sakian will also produce content for the Better News site as well as collaborate with the API Communications team to create cross-platform content to promote learnings.

Sakian studied at The School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She is based in San Antonio and outside of work she enjoys live music, podcasts and traveling. To contact her, please email

About the American Press Institute

The American Press Institute helps develop, support and sustain healthy local news organizations with a focus on civic discourse and democracy; culture and inclusion; community engagement and trust; and revenue and resilience. 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.

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