Digging Deeper


The elevator pitch on Harvest Network

“A cross between a fancy Rolodex and a crowdsourcing machine.”

That’s the best description I’ve heard yet on just what the Public Insight Network is, coming from Angilee Shah for a piece she did for the California Health Journalism Fellowship.

Since starting this job a month ago, I’ve been hard-pressed at times to describe just what the heck it is I do.  And sometimes when I give folks my elevator pitch, I watch as their eyes roll back in their heads.

So let’s try this again.

Harvest Network is part of the (much) larger Public Insight Network, a broad database created by Minnesota Public Radio in 2003 to better reach listeners, tap into their experience and, in their words, “add context, depth, humanity and relevance to news stories at trusted newsrooms around the country.”

Another short-hand description I’ve heard is: a citizen brigade of reporters.

Over at Changing Gears, they call it “Your story.”

And my friend Sharon McNary at KPCC in Southern California says her job is “connecting interesting people to the journalists at KPCC.” (If you want to see an example of the power of KPCC's network, read the rest of Angilee's post to learn about Sharon's great reporting on a state prison riot.)

We call the Harvest Network our grassroots reporting team, people from the heartland offering us their insight on food, fuel and field. I like to think of it as literally doing what our masthead says: Cultivating stories from the ground up.

Want to join our team? Become part of the Harvest Network now by clicking here.

And if you have any questions, drop me a line at peggylowe@harvestpublicmedia.org.