June 11, 2021

After nearly nine years as executive director of the American Press Institute, Tom Rosenstiel will be moving in the fall to a faculty position at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill School of Journalism.

The university Friday announced Rosenstiel’s appointment as the Eleanor Merrill Visiting Professor on the Future of Journalism. He will begin in the fall.

Rosenstiel is co-author of the classic book, “Elements of Journalism,” and has published 10 books in all including three novels. He previously directed journalism programs and publications at the Pew Research Center, and he writes a column for Poynter.

In a letter to friends, Rosenstiel wrote that in the new job, “I’ll be focusing on the role of media in society, the future of the industry and the intersection of media and politics — the work I’ve done all along and the work we’ve done at API.”

API has a substantial endowment, but was restarted without staff or ongoing programming when Rosenstiel joined in 2013.

At API, Rosenstiel now directs a staff of “more than 15 and growing,” he wrote. The institute, an affiliate of the News Media Alliance, does research on news and best practices along with training. Rosenstiel said that his arrangement with the university will allow him to continue to work some on API projects including the Table Stakes program, aimed at helping news organizations conceive and execute growth projects.

Explaining why he is changing jobs, Rosenstiel wrote, “I felt like it was time to think about the next generation of journalists. I wanted to begin this next chapter while I had the time, energy and commitment to make it a meaningful one.”

In announcing his appointment, Dean Lucy Dalglish said in a press release,   “Tom Rosenstiel is the nation’s leading expert on the state of the journalism industry and the direction it is heading. Our college is stronger today with his addition to our faculty. He has spent the last eight years developing ways to sustain local news, but his portfolio is much broader. We are fortunate that he will teach and influence a new generation of journalists at Merrill College.”

David Chavern, president and CEO of the News Media Alliance, said in a release, “We look forward to what the future holds for API and to identifying a successor to lead the organization upon his departure. Tom has positioned the organization for continued great success, and the possibilities are endless.”

(Disclosure: I worked closely with Rosenstiel in the 2000s on the first several years of Pew’s annual State of the News Media reports.)

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Rick Edmonds is media business analyst for the Poynter Institute where he has done research and writing for the last fifteen years. His commentary on…
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