ONA ADVISORY: The Public Insight Network from Minneapolis will be out in force

One of the most innovative, ongoing projects in community and citizen media is the Public Insight Network Project launched by Andrew Haeg and Michael Skoler six years ago at Minnesota Public Radio. After a long period of careful incubation — including bulding a highly active network of engaged listeners around Minnesota — PIN is now expanding nationally.

PIN is a combination of technology and newsroom protocols which invite the public to play an active role in shaping and contributing to news coverage of important issues. It takes seriously the ideas of people like Mike Fancher that journalism needs to adopt “a new ethic of public engagement” if it is to remain relevant.

The Miami Herald and the Charlotte Observer have implemented PINs in their newsrooms. And the St. Louis Beacon — a web-only local online news community — has done so, too. New Hampshire Public Radio has run a PIN for three years or so.

Linda Fantin (lfantin@mpr.org), the MPR staffer who now leads the Public Insight Network, says the PIN team is going to be at the Online News Association convention in Washington, D.C., Thur.-Sat. in force — and will be announcing some game-changing new partnerships among prestigous new-media journalism organizations. They are hoping to survey interest of ONA’s 900+ attendees in what they’re doing, via a sort of instant, crowd-sourced white paper.

Here’s a shortened link to the query: bit.ly/c5tgQR

And see Andrew’s note below for an explanation of what they’re asking and what they plan to do with the responses.


My name is Andrew Haeg. I work with the Public Insight Network  — a platform for connecting > trusted journalists with knowledgeable sources.

You’re getting this message because you work in journalism, or you > support its ongoing evolution — and because I thought you’d have an > interesting perspective on a question many journalists and newsrooms are > asking right now: Is audience engagement worth the effort?

We’re gathering stories and experiences from media innovators, news > leaders, journalists and others around the country to get a sense of > what constitutes audience engagement who is doing interesting work in > this sphere. http://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/user/form_display.php?isPIJ=Y&form_code=f02d5b67e445

How are you interacting with your audiences? And how is that engagement > affecting your work and your outlook on the future of journalism? > > Click here to share your experience and perspective.

Your response will help us create a report — an “instant white paper” — which will provide a snapshot of how journalists (and those who  support journalism) are approaching audience engagement, and how they’re > thinking through the future of news. And, if you give us permission to do so, we’ll also post your response  online, and at the Online News Association Conference in Washington D.C.  from October 27 – 30.  In exchange, we’ll send you the report and a link to the web site.  Feel free to drop me a line with questions.

Andrew Haeg

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