I’m Sarah Alvarez, the Public Insight Network analyst with Changing Gears. Changing Gears is a public radio collaboration that examines how life is changing in the industrial Midwest.
We want to tell the stories of the people driving and experiencing this change. Our coverage leans heavily toward examining business and economic phenomena. Many people are reluctant to think they could say anything that is worth reporting on these topics.
What the Public Insight Network has allowed us to do is use stories of people affected by economic and business decisions, and build stories around them. Once people start to see their experiences as valuable, and, as perhaps part of a larger trend, they are more likely to share stories from their lives with us. It is my hope that we can use the Public Insight Network to begin to transform economics coverage-from stiff stories full of numbers supplemented by stories from real people-to stories from real people, supplemented by numbers.
Changing Gears has been able to tell these kind of stories, with wonderful reporters and PIN, to make for some very impactful journalism.