Public Insight Network (American Public Media)

See all Grant Assessments
Ongoing Evaluation
Author Organization
LFA Group: Learning for Action
Author Organization URL
Publication Date
Journalism & Media Innovation


To expand American Public Media’s (APM) Public Insight Network (PIN), a crowdsourcing news effort where citizens (‘sources’) provide information to journalists and reporters. The expansion included creating an open-source platform and supporting the use of PIN beyond public radio into newsrooms nationwide.


Key Questions

  • To what extent has the number and diversity of citizens involved in the PIN increased?
  • What newsrooms have integrated the PIN into their operations and how is it being used?
  • To what extent is the PIN seen as a valuable resource by newsroom staff and reporters?
  • To what extent has the PIN improved audience engagement and affected the relevance and nature of news content?


Approach: The evaluation includes the use of focus groups, stakeholder interviews (newsroom staff and community members), surveys and an analysis of media metrics.

Assessment Partner: LFA Group, LLC


The evaluation is a multi-year effort, which was launched in 2010 and will conclude in 2012. An interim report was recently completed, focusing on the implementation and use of the PIN in seven newsrooms. As the evaluation continues, the PIN’s impact on audience engagement and content streams will be examined. The completed interim report will be shared in the summer of 2011.

About our Journalism & Media Innovation focus area

Our goal at Knight Foundation is to preserve the best aspects of journalism and use innovation to expand the impact of information in the digital age.

About our Grant Assessments methodology

As part of our grant making process, program teams work with grantees to establish indicators that will be tracked to provide feedback on project implementation and outcomes. In certain cases, we also partner with grantees to conduct in-depth third-party evaluations to understand the effectiveness and impact of specific projects.