Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Public Insight Network?
- Who are you?
- What is Source?
- What is the difference between "Become a Source" and "Login"?
- Why do I need to "Become a Source" if I'm already in the Public Insight Network?
- Who will be able to see my information?
- What newsrooms participate in PIN?
- How do you choose your newsrooms?
- What are the PIN rules?
- I don't remember signing up to be a news source. Refresh my memory?
- What if I don't want to be a source for a particular newsroom?
- What if I want out entirely?
- Can I pitch a story?
- How will you use the information people give you?
- Why do you ask for information about me?
- I have more questions or feedback about the site. Who do I contact?
- How do I find out if my insights are used to inform reporting?
- Can I get a copy of the insights I share through the Public Insight Network?
- If I log in using Facebook Connect, what information will you exchange with Facebook?
What is the Public Insight Network?
The Public Insight Network (PIN) is a platform for people to share their knowledge and insights about timely issues with journalists. The Network consists of tens of thousands of people who have signed up to be sources for journalists and the newsrooms authorized to contact them. Journalists contact Public Insight Network participants via telephone, texting, survey forms, email and social media to ask editorially relevant questions about current events and issues.
Who are you?
We're American Public Media, the second largest public radio producer in the country, and the creator of the Public Insight Network. The PIN team is a dedicated group of journalists and technologists working together to build a platform for making journalism more collaborative, relevant, transparent and trustworthy.
What is Source?
Source is a web application people can use to become a source in the Public Insight Network, and current sources can use to create and edit their source profile, find queries about current events from journalists, and more.
What is the difference between "Become a Source" and "Login"?
Use "Become a Source" if this is your first time using Source. Use "Login" if you've already created an account on Source. If you're not sure, you can always try "Forgot Password" to see if you have already created an account.
Why do I need to "Become a Source" if I'm already in the Public Insight Network?
Source is the future of the Public Insight Network. By creating an account, sources will be able to see responses they've shared to Public Insight queries, find relevant queries from journalists, track their activity, update their profiles, and in the future, much more. Upcoming releases will provide opportunities to directly connect with journalists and other sources.
All current Public Insight Network sources have profiles in our system. But creating an account in Source is the easiest way to update your personal information and manage your profile.
Who will be able to see my information?
What newsrooms participate in PIN?
There's a full list here. As new partners join the Network, we update the list.
How do you choose your newsrooms?
We select partner newsrooms based on a shared commitment to collaborative reporting, community engagement, and strong journalistic values All partner newsrooms commit to abide by PIN rules.
- The PIN is only for journalism -- that means no spam, no membership pitches, or non-editorial questions;
- You will never be quoted or published without your permission;
- Your personal info and responses will only be seen by PIN-authorized journalists and the APM administrators who manage the PIN;
- PIN journalists use the things you've shared in the past to try to send you the most relevant questions possible;
- PIN journalists work together to make sure we don't query you too often.
I don't remember signing up to be a news source. Refresh my memory?
You can find your PIN back story by creating a Source account with the email address that received a message from PIN (it's the email address we have on file for you).
What if I don't want to be a source for a particular newsroom?
The easiest way to do this is to not respond to that newsroom's requests for your input. Or, if you don't want to receive emails from one or more newsrooms, you can manage your preferences in Source.
What if I want out entirely?
If you want to break up with a newsroom entirely -- you don't even want to get a phone call if a reporter thinks you have the insight needed for a story -- send us an email and we'll opt you out. Insights you've shared with newsrooms in the past will still be available to that newsroom, though, since we treat those like interview notes.
Can I pitch a story?
Absolutely. Suggest a story or issue you think deserves more attention. A Public Insight analyst will read your story idea, and may pass it onto journalists who can follow up with you. We can guarantee that we will read your idea, but can't assure you we'll act on it.
How will you use the information people give you?
All of the personal information our sources share is used only to serve them with opportunities to inform news coverage that are relevant to their work, their education or their life experience, and to contact them to learn more or to get permission to quote them. Personal information and insights sources share help journalists find people with expertise relevant to stories they're covering.
Why do you ask for information about me?
Our reporters search our database for sources with insights relevant to their stories. The more you've told us about yourself, the more likely reporters will be able to identify you as a source for a specific story.
I have more questions or feedback about the site. Who do I contact?
Send a note to email@example.com. We'll try our best to get back to you within a few hours.
How do I find out if my insights are used to inform reporting?
We can assure you that we're going to read every one of your responses. And we'll try our very best to let you know when you a story runs that you've influenced, but we can't guarantee it. Editorial work processes sometimes make it hard to know for sure the extent to which your insights influenced the reporter's story. If you're curious, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to figure out whether what you shared informed reporting. We're also working on ways to show you your influence on reporting -- watch for that in upcoming Source releases.
Can I get a copy of the insights I share through the Public Insight Network?
Yes! The best way to do this is to create an account in Source. You'll immediately be able to see all of the responses you've shared on your home page.
If I log in using Facebook Connect, what information will you exchange with Facebook?
Logging in using Facebook Connect allows us to authenticate your email address, name and zip code. None of the information you share with us in your Source profile will be shared with Facebook.
If you log into Source using Facebook, Facebook will be able to track your visits to Source (but not any information you share). There are browser extensions which will block Facebook from tracking visits to sites that use Facebook Connect. Using such an extension will prevent Source's login function from working. We are working on a fix. Until we have one, please disable the extension before logging in.
What is Spot.Us?
Spot.Us is a service that helps journalists and newsrooms raise money to produce journalism that they otherwise couldn't do. Journalists set a fundraising goal, and then tap a community of supporters to raise the money to meet that goal.
Why is Spot.Us becoming part of the Public Insight Network?
Like Spot.Us, the Public Insight Network gives journalists and newsrooms the tools and access to an engaged network needed to gather the resources to do credible, public service journalism. PIN provides the sources and the tools to gather knowledge from those sources. Spot.Us gives journalists and newsrooms the platform to raise money to support their work.
Learn more about how Spot.Us works.