We want to know what you're curious about in Michigan

May 13, 2014

We're launching an innovative journalism project here at Michigan Radio that will allow the public to drive the stories we investigate. 

Ask yourself, "what am I curious about?" and then share that question with us.

Our MI Curious project will launch in the coming weeks with a website that will ask:

"What do you wonder about Michigan, the region or its people that you want Michigan Radio to investigate?"

All the questions will be archived and viewable on our website so long as they meet our guidelines for a healthy online forum and don’t contain obvious conflicts of interest.

Then three steps follow:

  1. Editors and producers at Michigan Radio will identify questions that we have the potential to take the lead in investigating.
  2. Three questions will be chosen each month for an online voting round.
  3. The winning question will be investigated, and the staff at Michigan Radio will contact the question asker to talk about the options for how they can participate in the investigation.

The resulting story could be a radio piece, or a multimedia online post, or an interview segment with Cynthia Canty – or it could be a combination of all three.

Inspiration from the team at WBEZ in Chicago

The model for MI Curious started in Chicago two years ago by some pretty talented and creative people.

WBEZ’s Curious City takes an oft-cited goal of modern media outlets, “public engagement,” to another level.

Watch below as Curious City’s founder and senior producer Jennifer Brandel narrates a video about how it all works:

"Reporting happens from the ground up. Observations and curiosities from the community become our stories." - Jennifer Brandel, founder, Curious City

The project was started at WBEZ through a grant from the Association of Independents in Radio. Their “Localore” project aims to create new journalism models for others to follow.

After two years, the team at WBEZ has experienced multiple degrees of public involvement when reporting their stories.

For those who ask questions, the experience can run anywhere from remaining anonymous, to helping the team uncover photos or documents, to appearing live on the radio.

See the questions they have answered here.

We’re looking forward to starting this project at Michigan Radio in the coming weeks.

Watch for more updates soon!