Michael Skoler: Public Insight Journalism

Posted on March 11, 2008 
Filed Under Journalism

Michael Skoler from Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media is behind Public Insight Journalism.

Some choice quotes from various sources:

“Public insight journalism starts with a truth. On any given story, some people in the audience know more than even our smartest reporters and editors.

“No matter how hard newsrooms try with their hiring, they still have a hard time creating the kind of diversity that exists in the communities that they cover.

“The first thing we need to do is get the public engaged in our news coverage.

“We need them to opt in to helping us cover the news. We’ve done that by creating online simulations, like a budget-balancing game to close the US$4.2 billion gap in the Minnesota state budget, and by promoting on air and sending out online surveys where people can tell us what they know (and how they know it) about specific topics…”.”


“Listeners from all areas of the community sign up as public sources. Those who sign up will receive an e-mail no more than once a month asking them to share their observations and experiences on issues MPR is covering.

“If a source doesn’t have experience or knowledge about a particular topic, they are encouraged to forward the message to someone who does.

“Responses to the MPR Public Insight Network® will land on the desk of a Public Insight analyst, who will serve as gatekeeper for information that is submitted. He or she will read every response and then pass relevant information onto reporters and producers.

“As MPR reporters explore various subjects, the Public Insight analyst will ask people in the Network to share their observations and experiences about these issues.

“These responses will connect reporters with people who have direct experience with the topic, and reveal angles and story lines that may be new to the reporter.

“Reporters may follow up with a request for more information or an interview. Public sources also are encouraged to suggest topics for potential news stories.”

Links: PDF | IM Interview | MP3 | FAQ | Video: Keynote 2


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