OPB listens to the community

Amanda Peacher
Public Insight Journalist
Oregon Public Broadcasting

The school year wraps up in our state – and so too does Oregon Public Broadcasting’slong look at how educators and parents are trying to deal with budget belt-tightening in Learning with Less.

The Public Insight Network tools helped inform this reporting effort by Rob Manning from the first query sent out in August to a query on the effect of those cuts in February.

Our PIN effort looked at how one community, Beaverton, planned to vote last November on whether to raise revenue for schools. A few months later we held a listening session in Beaverton, inviting residents (including many PIN sources) to hear our education series and share what more they know about paying for education. We came away with other story options for our newsroom.

All in all, PIN was invaluable in leading us in new directions and finding real people for this long-tail series. We followed two families, two teachers and a principal over the course of the school year, featuring them in stories, and we found two of the five through PIN. Our reporter found it great to have all of the query responses and sources to cull from. He also really liked being able to help me craft the queries to see if his hunches were in fact right. This series was important for our audience and we feel we reported it well.

Amanda Peacher Public Insight Journalist
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Amanda coordinates OPB's Public Insight Network, a community of sources who share personal experiences with the newsroom. She also produces radio and web stories, data visualizations, and facilitates community engagement opportunities for the newsroom. Before coming to OPB she was a teaching fellow at the University of Oregon, where she was also the managing editor of Ecotone. Amanda hails from Idaho, where she worked as a freelance journalist for outlets like High Country News and The Boise Weekly, as a wilderness ranger, and as an outreach specialist for a statewide nonprofit.

Amanda has masters degrees in literary nonfiction journalism and environmental studies from the UO. She’s a fellow with the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources and has reported in Mexico as a Savage International Peace Fellow. She enjoys cycling, playing cello, and baking sweets.