Man handing out a yellow flyers, which are titled, “How to Start a Block Club” and “How to Buy a House in Cash.”

Outlier Media aims to fill information and accountability gaps that keep Detroiters from meeting their challenges and achieving their goals. 

To find these information gaps, we analyze public data ranging from 911 calls, to property tax data, to calls to United Way’s 211 service. This data helps us understand what Detroiters may be struggling with and how responsive officials are to these needs. We also ask Detroiters directly about their challenges and what kind of information they need, using a short, text-message-based survey. We send people who take the survey a gift card to thank them for their help. 

These assessments help us determine what issues we need to cover and what kind of information our TXT OUTLIER service needs to contain. 

Read Outlier’s 2022 information needs assessment to understand Detroiters’ information and accountability needs, and see how they inform our reporting. See the full report below.

For other newsrooms

We encourage other newsrooms to use information needs assessments to help determine their coverage. Outlier assists other local newsrooms with these assessments on a limited basis. For questions, contact Editor-in-Chief Sarah Alvarez at