The Public Insight Network helps St. Louis Public Radio tell stories that include the perspective of those most affected.
From the voters who showed up at the polls for the lackluster elections in November, to faithful and sometimes over-the-top fans of entertainer Weird Al Yankovic, PIN sources shared their particular insights on many stories in 2014.
For those who don’t know about it, the Public Insight Network is a journalism tool we use to help find people who can share their personal knowledge and experience. These are the folks who can add a personal view in the stories of the day.
St. Louis Public Radio uses the PIN in partnership with more than 60 news organizations across the country. We have more than 3,300 sources who have volunteered to help us in our reporting. These individuals are among nearly 217,000 PIN sources nationally. In addition to helping inform news coverage at our station, some of our sources also contribute to reports by journalists in our partner newsrooms when they cover stories with broad, national implications.
Becoming a source in the network is easy. You may respond to any question you see on our website; just look for the message that says “Help Inform Our Coverage.” Or click here, to share information about yourself, telling us about your experience and interests. Then, the next time we’re asking questions about a relevant topic, we’ll be sure to send you an email question form.
To help you see just how the PIN helped inform our reporting in 2014, here is a sampling of stories — one from each month — that drew the most responses. Altogether this year, we received 412 responses, representing insight from sources throughout metro St. Louis and others around the country.
Some routes of the Metro Transit buses are absolutely packed, while others rarely have more than a handful of riders. PIN sources joined others in sharing their experiences to illustrate the differences across Metro's 73 bus lines. — Jan. 30, 2014
The new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, which will carry Interstate 70 over the Mississippi River, is set to open to traffic. Host Don Marsh shared questions and observations from PIN sources when he talked with Randy Hitt, of the Missouri Department of Transportation, on St. Louis on the Air. — Feb. 4, 2014
The St. Louis Bluesweek Festival and the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis are on the move, and PIN sources from throughout the metro area were been quick to share their reactions: a little pro, lots of cons. — March 10, 2014
As St. Louis experiences a renewed interest in older neighborhoods, "St. Louis on the Air" devoted a recent show on the community level, taking a more personal look at what makes a neighborhood successful. PIN sources shared in the on-air discussion about what life is like where they live or work. — April 14, 2014
Roughly 2,200 students transferred out of the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts in north St. Louis County this school year, opting for schools in accredited districts. The PIN helped St. Louis Public Radio find a family that chose to keep one child in the home district and transfer its other child to another. — May 22, 2014
Missourians will vote Aug. 5 on a 0.75 percent sales tax increase for transportation projects. This report answers questions about the tax proposal, including some raised by PIN sources. — June 30, 2014
In honor of St. Louis' 250th birthday, reporter Veronique LaCapra explored the long-gone arts and entertainment district known as Gaslight Square. PIN sources shared their insight for this reflection. — July 30, 2014
As the cleanup continues in riot-weary Ferguson, PIN sources share their observations on the shooting death of Michael Brown and the aftermath. — Aug. 13, 2014
Weird Al Yankovic's new album "Mandatory Fun" is the only comedy record ever to start off at the top of the Billboard charts and first one to rise to that level since 1963. PIN source Katie Borders of Webster Groves, shares her love for Al and his resurgence. — Sept. 4, 2014
St. Louis County’s two major candidates for county executive — Republican Rick Stream and Democrat Steve Stenger — engaged in a vigorous debate, tangling over guns, other social issues, their records and their different visions of what government can and should do for the county’s 1 million residents. PIN sources contributed some of the questions. — Oct. 14, 2014
When St. Louis Public Radio asked, through our Public Insight Network, why this election mattered, responses left no doubt that for these voters, the democratic process is alive and well. Even though some said they were disappointed with their choices, they still stressed that voting is important — a right and a duty. — Nov. 4, 2014
Inform our coverage
This report contains information gathered with the help of our Public Insight Network.
To learn more about the Network and how you can become a source, please click here.