The American Press Institute (API), an affiliate of the News Media Alliance dedicated to helping news publishers navigate and adapt to organizational and industry change to sustain journalism, today announced it has hired Michael D. Bolden as its new executive director and chief executive officer. Bolden, currently the director of culture and operations at the San Francisco Chronicle and a member of the newsroom’s executive leadership team, will begin in his new role with API by Feb. 14.
At the Chronicle, Bolden supervised a range of coverage, including business, housing, immigration, race and equity, technology, transportation, and urban design and development, and worked to foster an internal culture at the Chronicle that values diversity and belonging.
Prior to his role at the Chronicle, Bolden was a journalism lecturer at Stanford University and managing director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships, where he advised media change agents from around the world. He also served as editorial director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a leading funder of journalism and media innovation. For more than a decade, he was an editor at The Washington Post in positions across the newsroom. He has also been a reporter and editor in Florida and Louisiana.
“It is the privilege of my lifetime to join the enterprising team at the American Press Institute, who work at the forefront of guiding news organizations through constant change,” Bolden said. “In this time of misinformation and uncertainty, our communities, especially those that have been dispossessed and disregarded, need us more than ever. I look forward to partnering with our visionary board, our funders, newsrooms across the industry, and concerned people everywhere to meet the needs of our audiences, lift trust in the media and help journalism thrive.”
“Michael brings a wealth of talent and experience to this key position,” said API Board of Trustees Chair Kevin Mowbray. “He is a proven leader who has shown deep commitment to quality journalism. I have great confidence in his future success.”
News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern, stated, “We couldn’t be happier that Michael has joined the API family. Michael is the experienced individual we were looking for to provide the talented API team with the vision and leadership it needs to move forward and achieve its goals, and we are excited to see the positive impact we know he will have in this role. API is on a rapid growth path with many exciting opportunities, and I look forward to working closely with Michael to achieve our shared objectives of helping news publishers successfully navigate today’s changing journalism landscape.”
Bolden is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He was a Maynard Media Academy Fellow at Harvard University and is working on his Master of Liberal Arts thesis at Stanford. He serves on the boards of directors of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Foundation, the nonprofit that supports a free press, the Student Press Law Center, and EdSource, a nonprofit engaging Californians on key education issues.
Over the last several years, API has emerged as a leader in the efforts to sustain local journalism. It produces groundbreaking audience research in partnership with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago; has developed apps and software for news publishers, such as Metrics for News and its source auditing software; has created innovative programs that help journalists listen to communities; manages the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund major market “Table Stakes” program and coordinates the many iterations of the program; and works with its affiliate, Trusting News, to help news organizations become more transparent.
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