We are excited to be able to share today that the Public Insight Network Bureau, based at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has won the 2015 ASU President’s Award for Innovation. This prestigious award is given annually by ASU in recognition of cutting edge projects and programs that significantly benefit ASU and its students.
Led by veteran journalist and former WAMU PIN journalist Rebecca Blatt, the Bureau has developed into an immersive professional training experience for 20-30 students each year. The Bureau helps students develop the skills necessary to serve as an engagement specialist for any newsroom, and gives them a chance to collaborate with professional journalists tackling challenging editorial, engagement and outreach questions.
The PIN Bureau helps to train students to be the journalists newsrooms want to hire, and provides an essential service to its client newsrooms and freelancers. Less than a year in, three students have already secured jobs or internships based in part on the experiences and relationships created through their work in the PIN Bureau.
These students become alums that know how to meet the needs of engagement-savvy newsrooms. In the PIN Bureau, students develop skills in research, reporting, digital and in-person engagement, and entrepreneurship. They know how to connect with diverse audiences and invite community members to participate in the reporting process. They’ve also completed the Cronkite School’s rigorous reporting program, and they’re ready to integrate community engagement in their reporting work.
Bureau client Utah Public Radio’s news director Kerry Bringhurst says that by collecting and then sending community insights directly to station reporters, the PIN Bureau makes it possible for her small station staff to focus on what they do best: “promoting our projects, preparing for interviews, and producing a product that’s local and timely.”
News organizations interested in learning more about PIN Bureau services, or in hiring a PIN Bureau alum to boost engagement-driven reporting, should contact bureau chief Rebecca Blatt by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 602.496.0297.