Michael Caputo

Engagement Manager - Public Insight Network
American Public Media
A belief that journalism could better connect with those who need the information led Mike to the Public Insight Network in 2006. He served as a PIN journalist for the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom, then he coached and counseled newsrooms around the country on the PIN tools and the PIN approach.

Now as engagement manager, he focuses on the sources in PIN by designing strategies to grow the network, directing engagement with sources and assessing the source experience. He specializes in planning and convening forums that serve journalism, from roundtable discussions to events that can fill a hall.

Recent Posts


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A detailed guide to PINCamp 2013

Do you know that nearly 40 people from 27 radio, television, online, and print news organizations? If the company you will keep doesn't get you excited, maybe the discussions at PINCamp will. Here is a detailed guide to PINCamp 2013.

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The Koch Principle and the PIN philosophy

Former New York mayor Ed Koch became famous during his time leading the city for bringing New Yorkers into the governing process by asking, simply: "How am I doing?" Newsrooms can use PIN to do just that: Signal you are willing to listen, to ask about what you're missing, and to invite your community into your coverage.

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When it’s OK to steal from other newsrooms…

One of the things journalists working with the Public Insight Network get really good at is coming up with successful and inventive ways to ask questions of their sources. And when queries are successful with one audience, often they can be successful with other groups too: So we encourage our community of journalists and editors... Read more »

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What will get people to “tell” us their story?

Comments, photos and video have long been the currency of the interactive web. Somehow, audio got skipped. But now smartphones and services like SoundCloud are making it easy for users to share their own voices with public radio stations.

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When it comes to journalism and engagement, the dirty word is…

When a newsroom decides it wants real engagement with the audience, the next question is: “How do we make it happen?” The answer can be boiled down to one word:¬†Campaign. That word makes most reporters/editors squirm, as thoughts of marketing (an advertising campaign) or partisan politics (the campaign to elect X) come to mind. But... Read more »

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The people’s agenda revealed in Colorado

The idea of collaboration with an audience doesn’t mean much until that starts showing up in the work you do. Doing that online is essential, and should be the first order of business since the news real estate is endless. But it’s more of a challenge to get that collaboration to permeate the work you... Read more »

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Mixing journalism with engagement – why it’s worth it

Talking about how a paradigm has shifted is far different than doing things to accommodate that change. That’s the idea behind a recent webinar that we did in partnership with the National Center for Media Engagement. The PIN team and NCME focused this first of a three-webinar series on making public forums work for journalism.... Read more »

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Starting the churn…

When I started as a reporter (back when Reagan’s jelly beans were in the White House) you had to choose your medium. You wrote for a paper, you talked on the radio, you shot video. The Internet now enables the reporter to pick up the tool of her choice – keyboard, microphone or camera –... Read more »