Inside Public Integrity

Published — April 21, 2015 Updated — May 13, 2015 at 12:51 pm ET

How you can help make our investigative reporting more engaging

Can we make investigative reporting as irresistibly shareable as a red panda video? We don't know, but we're trying to find out. Shutterstock


Exposing the additives in your food. Showing how schools send students to court. Revealing how mobile home mortgages trap the poor.

These are just a few of the recent investigations the Center for Public Integrity has released. And we want your help to ensure that these important stories inform and engage the broadest audience possible.

We are currently in the process of a multi-year research project that seeks to understand what makes investigative journalism engaging to readers. We want to know what your motivations are when consuming, sharing and discussing investigative reports, and we want to use this information to better present and distribute our work.

The first component of our project involves a survey administered through the Public Insight Network that involves three parts:

  • What makes a news story engaging?
  • How do readers interact with and consume investigative journalism currently?
  • What are readers’ current sharing and engagement habits? What do they already read, why do they share news stories, and what do they share?

We’ve already received a number of excellent responses that prove that we have some of the most savvy, intelligent and committed readers around.

But we want more.

We need more information from people who are willing to share what makes the news exciting, what makes investigative reporting relevant to you, and what makes a story irresistible to share. We want to know more about what makes our stories meaningful for you, and what makes them fall flat. We’d like to know more about what we’re doing right so we can do it better, as well as what we need to improve.

So what’s in it for you?

First of all, you’ll assist in informing how the Center creates our future reports. These responses will inform the way we write, how we roll out our projects, the way we tell our stories and how we disseminate our work. But you’ll also help influence the journalism community at large. We want to use this survey to inform the industry-wide conversation about the best news media engagement practices, and what the industry’s most meaningful metrics should be. That means better, more readable, more understandable news stories for you, and a more enjoyable experience overall.

And you might even get a special “thank you” gift in the mail later on.

We need your help to ensure that our work is as engaging as it can possibly be, so that the Center’s stories remain relevant, trustworthy and vital.
So please sign up to take our survey today, and help our investigations thrive!

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for our research group. We’ve completed the volunteer phase of our research, but we appreciate your time.

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