5 Answers with Lindsay Carbonell, Success Engineer at American Press Institute

Lindsay Carbonell started working for the American Press Institute (API) in April 2019 as a freelance Success Engineer. Now full-time, she’s in charge of technical support for API’S Metrics for News product. Lindsay also works to build new features and conduct user interviews.

What brought you to the news media industry, especially American Press Institute?

I’m a journalism major. I graduated from UNC School of Journalism, and before this job I worked at another small nonprofit news organization called Education NC. When I was working there, I realized that I didn’t have enough education in technical knowledge, so I decided to work for a commercial web agency that had a very strict web developing process that taught me a lot. Once I felt comfortable with my skills, I decided to go back to the news industry. I wanted a position where I could be working with a lot of local newsrooms by helping them increase their success. Since many local news organizations do not have the budget to hire someone like me, I decided to reach out to nonprofit organizations and chose API.

What are you working on at API now?

I am mostly working day-to-day on technical issues for our Metric for News costumers and offering a lot of research documentation to help API achieve a better coverage about its website’s data points. Metrics for News is a web analytics platform that contextualizes web analytics specifically for news. It can import analytics from multiple systems and create data, so publishers can set journalism related goals, such as number of subscribers per article, user priorities, etc. It is a very straightforward program with many presets that help news media companies to easily use it.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenge facing the news media industry today?

Probably the fact that a lot of stable news organizations have different revenue models; they are nonprofit or have some robust subscription model. Local news organizations are often owned by financial institutions, so they don’t have the opportunity to publish opinion content. For local news organizations, that is a very important section because it is how journalists tell their community what they think about the news. The character of the news media organizations is kind of lost.

What is the most promising opportunity for publishers in 2019?

Understanding their audience – having a good grasp of who their audience is and what they need. You can publish content all day long, but if you don’t know how your audience interacts with it, then you are not going to know how to adjust to their needs.

What are you most excited about in your role at API?

I am excited to be able to bring Metrics for News to more news media organizations and to make the product even more accessible to the people who have it. It is an extremely valuable product that can actually help local news organizations be more successful and stable.

 

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