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MPR Inserts Public Insight Journalism into News

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) will launch a new project “‘Prescription for Change,” to examine major changes to employee health insurance plans, and uses Public Insight Journalism and an online simulation to help its audience understand the issue.

First MPR’s description of Public Insight Journalism from its own press release:

“…the Minnesota Public Radio model recognizes the vast expertise that lies in the collective experience and knowledge of the audience. The model aims to systematically tap that knowledge, using a variety of techniques including online simulations, to strengthen news reporting, shape coverage decisions and promote community interaction.”

“Minnesota Public Radio’s newsroom is transforming its culture and processes to regularly find and tap public insight to create the smartest, most relevant reporting possible. The aim is to engage listeners in the newsroom’s information gathering, to find fresh sources of expertise, to uncover new perspectives and to discover emerging issues and stories that are not yet on the public agenda. Already, 13,000 people have offered their expertise to the newsroom and are part of Minnesota Public Radio’s Public Insight Network.”

The Medical Matchmaker Online Toolis:

an online simulation–to both inform its future health care coverage and help people navigate the complex new landscape of health insurance plans.

The simulation walks you through 12 pairs of hypothetical health care plans, each with a different mix of features. You choose the one you prefer from each pair. The software then compares the plans you chose against those you didn’t choose. At the end, it shows you what features you really care about (cost, choice of provider, etc.) and which general type of health insurance plan best fits your priorities.

“‘Medical Matchmaker’ is a new tool for journalism,” said Andrew Haeg, senior producer for Minnesota Public Radio, “that helps people discover their priorities as they choose between options. It’s an innovative application of conjoint analysis, a survey method, to news coverage.” The software was designed by QuestionPro Online Surveys in a partnership with Minnesota Public Radio News.

Minnesota Public Radio News staff will also use information provided by those who use Medical Matchmaker to help design future news coverage on health care. The simulation is part of Minnesota Public Radio’s innovative model, Public Insight Journalism…

If you have read this far be sure to give the Matchmaker a try. It takes about 15 minutes.

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