Michigan Radio’s M I Curious series is a news experiment that seeks to include you in our editorial decision-making, make journalism more transparent and strengthen multimedia coverage of our state. The project is modeled after the Curious City series at WBEZ in Chicago.
All M I Curious stories originate with questions submitted by the public. Michigan Radio producers and editors sift through those questions and work together with the public to find the best answers.
Each month, we put questions into voting rounds so you can help make the final decision about what we investigate together.
We know you’re curious, so drop your question into the box above and help us track down answers. You could help us conduct interviews, conduct research, find photos and documents, and appear on Michigan Radio.
There are a lot of ways to contribute to our stories beyond asking questions. Follow Michigan Radio’s M I Curious series on Facebook, Twitter, or at michiganradio.org.
Your comments, leads, and insights can make all the difference in our stories.
How do you collect questions?
We collect questions through this website (top of the page), through phone messages left at (248) 962-3806, or when we’re out and about talking with people around the state.
Are there questions you do not accept?
All questions asked make it to the question archive unless they don’t meet our online guidelines for decorum, fairness, or the person asking the question has an obvious conflict of interest. We do not investigate questions about Michigan Radio or questions posed by staff at Michigan Radio.
How do you pick the questions for voting rounds?
Our producers and editors identify questions that have potential to be answered by staff, freelancers, or volunteers. We’ll try to look for a theme (e.g., “history”) and fill the voting round with questions related to that theme. We’ll also consider story location, tone, or timeliness. Sometimes we’ll create voting rounds with a variety of novel subjects. These voting rounds might not fit into an obvious, overall theme.
What happens if my question is in a voting round?
Well, first off, congrats! We keep voting rounds open for one week. We notify question submitters when their question is selected so they can ask friends, family and social networks for their support.
If your question wins a voting round - double congrats! Michigan Radio staff will discuss options for how you might participate in the investigation, depending on your interest and schedule, as well as the schedule of reporters or producers.
What happens if my question is in a voting round and doesn’t win? Will it still get answered?
There is hope for your question! Our editors and producers scan the question archive. They could decide to investigate questions that never make into a voting round, or they’ll find that a question has already been answered in some way — either through a previous story by Michigan Radio or another media outlet. And there’s another way your question might be answered: The public weighs in! Anyone can comment on questions. If you know the answer to someone else’s question or even have leads or points others should consider, don’t be shy! Let them know the information you have and whenever possible, cite your sources.
Why do you change the wording of some questions when they enter a voting round?
We edit some questions for clarity and brevity. Editors and producers attempt to recast otherwise relevant or provocative questions that mischaracterize small details or remain too broad. The goal is to indicate what lines of investigation Michigan Radio is likely to pursue, so the public can clearly understand the choices and vote deliberately.
To Jennifer Brandel and the folks at Hearken, of course! This unique news experiment is a great way for us to work together with you on the stories we’re all curious about. We’d also like to thank Harrison Lott for his graphic design help, and Jordan Haines for his technical help in getting this website up and running.