Kristin Gilger is associate dean at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Below, she writes about the Cronkite School’s new Public Insight Network bureau, funded in part by Knight Foundation, where students provide services to professional news organizations seeking to engage with diverse audiences and improve their storytelling.
Journalists are good at finding experts for their stories, but what they may miss are the “expert” voices of people who don’t often find their way into the news.
Since 2003, American Public Media’s Public Insight Network has tackled this problem by connecting journalists to a network of people across the country who have agreed to share their stories, ideas and views. With the support of a $2.95 million grant from Knight Foundation, the network has grown into a community of more than 215,000 citizens and 80 newsrooms across the country.
Now, American Public Media has joined with the Cronkite School to establish the first PIN bureau and explore a sustainable business model for the network. Knight Foundation is supporting the effort with a new three-year, $250,000 grant that American Public Media has matched via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.