Teaching journalists to cover poverty
MetadataShow full item record
“Sense of place” is the way a person relates to his or her environment. This paper aims to help journalists learn to convey information using local identities to explain poverty in persistently poor locations. Sense of place, historical characteristics, narratives and tradition should be used to cover poverty in a way that will draw in readers. Community members should be able to form accurate ideas about their locale and know how poverty affects it through crime, health, business and education. National statistics, surveys and legislation can be used at a local level to explain poverty trends, and this paper provides specific ideas to incorporate poverty coverage in beats across the newsroom. However, journalists can include several beats in the coverage and shouldn’t hesitate to follow other journalists’ examples of coverage. The 14 newspapers observed in this study are divided between how they acknowledge and cover poverty, and each must find its own way to correctly cover the issue in its market. The 21 tip sheets were created for the poverty Web site to direct journalists how to generate exemplary stories about poverty in relation to financial services, family, race, education, health, housing and politics. The final section discusses how to market the Web site and make it the most effective and accessible to journalists in the field.