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What is the Public Insight Network?

The Public Insight Network is a new way for WDET journalists to find the best sources and the best information - a group of thousands of people who have agreed to help us cover the news.

Every week, we ask people in that network to share their observations, knowledge and expertise with us. We take that information, distill it, and pass it on to our reporters and editors. They may follow up with a request for more information, or perhaps an interview.

We believe that this approach to journalism will make WDET an even more trusted and credible source of news and information.

How is this different from how WDET's newsroom worked in the past?

Our journalists are always trying to find the best sources and the best information to tell their stories. But there are few of us, and so many people, like you, who have good information and insight that they have acquired through their jobs, hobbies, contacts, friendships or life experiences.

Until recently, we have lacked the ability to ask many people to share what they know with us on any given story. Now, e-mail and the Internet have enabled us to quickly and efficiently communicate with hundreds, even thousands of people, within minutes. Those same technologies also enable us to keep track of information in a central database that we can build into a powerful storehouse of intelligence.

How will WDET use the information people give you?

First, we will use the knowledge, observations and expertise people provide to inform our news coverage. A newsroom analyst will take the information, connect it with other relevant intelligence and pass it on to the appropriate reporters and editors. We will not share any personal information we received outside of the WDET newsroom. We will never quote anyone on the air or online without first getting their permission.

Reporters and editors will then decide what information they deem relevant or important. If the information you provide interests them, they will follow up with an e-mail or a phone call.

How do I share what I know with you?

You can contact us anytime by sending an e-mail to Also, keep an eye out for e-mails asking for you to share your knowledge and expertise with us. Respond only to those that are relevant, ignore the rest.

We also welcome your story ideas. But, understand that we cannot cover every story that you suggest. In some cases, your idea may be a good one, but the newsroom may have other priorities.

Our standard for what is or is not a news story is not etched in stone. We apply a number of tests to story ideas. These tests may be more or less stringent depending on the availability of newsroom resources. In general, we look for stories about events, issues and trends that either directly or indirectly affect many Metro Detroiters.

What will you do with the information I give you?

The information you give us helps us ask you questions about topics relevant to your knowledge and expertise.

We will never, under any circumstance, sell or share your personal information outside the newsroom. We take your privacy extremely seriously. We want you and others to feel comfortable sharing important information with us. See our privacy policy.

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