November 19, 2012

Project for Excellence in Journalism director Tom Rosenstiel is leaving the organization to become executive director of the American Press Institute. API and the Newspaper Association of America announced in January they would merge. Rosenstiel founded PEJ in 1997 at Columbia University; it moved to Pew in 2006. Rosenstiel and API president Caroline Little will host a conference call at 1 p.m ET to discuss the appointment. Rosenstiel is a member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board.

Press release

(Arlington, VA, November 19, 2012) – Tom Rosenstiel, a distinguished journalist, author and researcher, today was named the new Executive Director of the American Press Institute, the foundation of the Newspaper Association of America. Rosenstiel, the founder and Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism at the Pew Research Center, is one of the country’s most widely recognized thinkers about the evolving role of journalism in the 21st century. Rosenstiel will help lead the American Press Institute into a new phase in its history, expanding the organization’s role in research and training, and continuing to develop best practices that further the value of journalism, including newspaper media, on behalf of the public.

“We are thrilled to have Tom guiding this institution at such a vital moment,” Mark Newhouse, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Press Institute said. “Even as the way news is delivered and consumed is being transformed, the essential purpose of the American Press Institute remains. It has always been about advancing the press as the Founders imagined it in the First Amendment—as an independent source of news, information and reporting upon which a healthy democracy relies—and we strongly believe in Tom’s ability to continue that advancement.”

Rosenstiel will join the American Press Institute on January 1, 2013 but will be participating in a conference call later today to answer questions about his new role. Details for the conference call are below.

“I could not be happier about Tom taking the helm at the American Press Institute. He has the perfect combination of skills – journalism, research and a passion – for newspaper media and its role in American life and democracy,” said Caroline Little, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Newspaper Association of America.

A former press critic for the Los Angeles Times and chief congressional correspondent at Newsweek, Rosenstiel is also the author or co-author of six books, including “The Elements of Journalism,” which is widely used in journalism education worldwide and “Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload.”

Additionally, Rosenstiel has created two national media organizations, the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which he began in 1997 with the support of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Committee of Concerned Journalists, which he co-founded with Bill Kovach to create a national conversation about journalism standards with support from Pew and the Knight Foundation. At the Project for Excellence in Journalism, Rosenstiel oversaw hundreds of research studies regarding the revolution in media, including the group’s annual State of the News Media reports. Rosenstiel is a four-time winner of both the Society of Professional Journalists Award for Outstanding Research on Journalism and the annual prize for Outstanding Press Criticism from Penn State, and has received other awards for career contributions from Columbia University, University of Texas and the University of Missouri.

“For years I’ve dreamed about creating an institution to help imagine the future of news, a think tank that can gather the best minds from different fields, conduct research on the most urgent questions, share best practices and find solutions to help journalism and remain a public good, including a future for the kind of reporting that newspaper media uniquely provide” Rosenstiel said. “Technology is not only transforming how people interact with news, it is also creating amazing new tools in how to gather and report it.”

In addition to training the next generation of leaders in the news media industry, the American Press Institute will substantially expand its efforts in research, developing best practices, and bringing people together to help journalism and newspaper media remain a sustainable safeguard of democracy and communities. The merger of the American Press Institute and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation on February 6, 2012 combined the strengths of both organizations to provide training, research and best practices for and on behalf of leaders in the newspaper industry and to advocate the value of newspaper media and all news media, and the value of independent journalism as a cornerstone of democracy.

For additional information about the American Press Institute, please visit

NAA is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 newspapers and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and Canada. Members include daily newspapers as well as nondailies, other print publications and online products. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on the major issues that affect today’s newspaper industry, such as public policy/legal matters, advertising revenue growth and audience engagement across the medium’s broad portfolio of products and digital platforms. More information about NAA and the industry is available at

The American Press Institute will host a teleconference call today, Monday, November 19, 2012, at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time to discuss Tom Rosenstiel’s appointment as the new Executive Director of the American Press Institute and answer questions from the media. Rosenstiel will be joined on the call by Caroline Little, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Newspaper Association of America.

To join the teleconference, dial 1-877-860-3058 and refer to conference number 957980.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

More News

Back to News