Tell KCUR - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tell KCUR?

Tell KCUR is a way for the journalists at KCUR 89.3 to find the best sources and the best information for whatever topic we pursue. As part of broader 'Tell KC' initiative with KCPT Channel 19, thousands of people have agreed to help us cover the news.

Every week, we ask people who have joined Tell KCUR and/or Tell KC 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 KCUR 89.3 an even more trusted and credible source of news and information.

How is this different from how KCUR'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, creating a powerful storehouse of intelligence.

Tell KCUR is part of such a database — the Public Insight Network.

What is the Public Insight Network?

Founded in 2003 by American Public Media, the Public Insight Network has nearly 100,000 sources around the country. Every day, Public Insight Network sources inform stories for leading news outlets, including Marketplace, ProPublica, the Miami Herald, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and Minnesota Public Radio.

How do I sign up?

You are signed up automatically when you answer a query related to a specific story. You can also fill out the online sign up form.

As a source for Tell KCUR, what can I expect?

  1. We'll send out short questionnaires looking for background information and sources for stories we're working on, but we won't overwhelm your inbox. Respond only to those that are relevant; ignore the rest.
  2. An occasional follow-up. If you're a fit for a story, our editors and reporters will contact you by phone or email.
  3. Confidentiality: We don't quote you (on-air or online) without your permission. We also won't ever use your information to seek donations or sell your information to a third party.

Is this related to the Tell KCUR feature I hear on the radio?

Yes. We often reach out with a TELL KCUR question on air. In the past, we’ve asked about everything from identifying rotting food in your fridge to sharing concerns about violence in the community. When you respond to these questions, you are given the opportunity to join the Tell KC network … but you don’t have to in order to answer the question. 

What about the Tell KC or Tell KCPT questions I see from KCPT?

Yes, we are partners with KCPT Channel 19. When you make the connection with either one of us, you are part of the overall source network for Kansas City public media stations. 

Here's a look at past questions and responses from listeners: