WAMU is up all night

Joellen Easton
Business Development Manager
Public Insight Network

WAMU senior news editor Rebecca Blatt

WAMU in Washington, D.C. joined PIN only about six months ago.  In those six months, WAMU’s senior news editor Rebecca Blatt and online managing editor Seth Liss have experimented with using PIN as a resource for a wide variety of programming — from feature reporting to talk shows, to a pet segment.

What’s struck me about their work, beyond the variety, is the friendly and accessible way they interact with sources.  And they always say thank you to those sources who shared ideas or were featured in coverage, including links to the relevant programming and to questions on deck for future programming.

I asked Rebecca Blatt (at right) about their friendly and personal thank you notes, and she said “[they're] extremely helpful.  It’s fun for me to get to know people a little better, and it means we’re getting additional story ideas in the interaction.”

Exactly.  That cycle of sharing insight can lead your reporting to new places where you get real benefit out of editorial engagement.

Blatt also called my attention this week to a piece from WAMU’s news magazine “Metro Connection.”  She says they “were doing a show with the theme ‘up all night.’  We sent out a query asking people what keeps them up late at night, and we got a really thoughtful response from someone who is up taking care of her elderly father.  The reporter ended up giving her a recorder and having her keep an audio diary for a week — mostly in the middle of the night.  I think it turned into a really powerful piece, and it’s an example of how generous PIN sources can be.”

Give this very moving piece a listen: Up All night With an Elderly Parent.

Joellen Easton Business Development Manager
Public Insight Network
Joellen Easton gets to chart the next mission for PIN: New ways to use the network for meeting information needs, with new partners and new technologies. All shiny objects cross her desk.

Her background is in anthropology, and she has produced for WGBH, PRI’s The World, and as a freelancer. She first worked with PIN at Marketplace as a PIN analyst for four years, and after that as partners manager for three years, leading the training and support team. She is degreed from Tufts and MIT.