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Support Fellowships and Programs for Journalists from Poor and Low-income Backgrounds

Support fellowships and other mentoring and training programs for journalists from poor and low-income backgrounds.

 

One of the most pernicious American media biases is the bias of class. Journalists tend to be mostly white and mostly from middle-class or wealthier backgrounds. Some of the problem happens at the college level–the best J-schools are private and pricey, and too many of the best, most consequential internships are unpaid, and even if they are paid, the publications offering them are usually in New York, an excruciatingly expensive city.

 

Most talented poor would-be journalists just don’t have the money to afford the best college programs, even with scholarships, and can’t afford to work for free, or for a pittance that will be swallowed up by rent, transportation, and the costs of upgrading their wardrobes.

 

As a result, American media, and American reporting, suffers from a lack of voices who intimately understand the realities of growing up in poverty, and trying to survive in poverty.

 

When we don’t have a decent-size population of skilled folks scattered throughout newsrooms and magazine offices across the country, we suffer, because we don’t have sharp minds who can pounce and call bullshit on bullshit government initiatives, such as trying to remake SNAP (food stamps) as a Blue Apron-style monthly delivery of boxed food. (Ok, we have sharp minds calling bullshit on Twitter, but we’d be better off if some of those sharp minds had access to bigger, broader media platforms.)

 

Fortunately, there are a few programs for budding journalists from low-income backgrounds. We at OTYCD encourage you to support and donate to these programs.

 

The Economic Hardship Reporting Project is an initiative by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies. Founded by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America and other books that examine poverty in America, it commissions stories which, in its words, “put a human face on financial instability.”

 

While its webpage does not explicitly describe any formal fellowships, programs, or internships for journalists from poor backgrounds, recruiting and mentoring people who have that experience is one if the EHRP’s goals. Co-editor Alissa Quart says in a July 2016 Washington Monthly piece reproduced on the organization’s website:

 

“We seek out, and mentor, journalists who are themselves from marginalized backgrounds, helping them push their stories about their communities and their families into the mainstream media.”

 

The project takes submissions online, and recruits candidates via word of mouth and through co-founder Ehrenreich. They’re also trying to find new voices from inside organizations they work with, like associations of restaurant or domestic workers.  (Classroom aides, school clerks and crossing guards, please?)

 

Sometimes it’s the money that makes the reporting possible. (The goal is to pay one dollar per word.) Other times, according to Quart, it’s helping reporters understand the codes and behaviors of journalism, which is notoriously hard to crack from the outside.

 

Often, firsthand experience with economic hardship deepens and improves the reporting, according to Quart, citing the Jezebel piece about resilience as an example. “It had a personal energy and anger that you’re not seeing normally in these kinds of pieces,” said Quart.

 

 

See the EHRP’s website:

http://economichardship.org

 

 

See its About page:

https://economichardship.org/about/

 

 

See the full Washington Monthly piece on the EHRP site:

http://economichardship.org/extras-blog//fellowship-program-recruits-journalists-with-hardship-experience

 

 

Also see the Jezebel story about resilience mentioned in the quote above:

https://jezebel.com/resilience-is-futile-how-well-meaning-nonprofits-perpe-1716461384

 

 

Donate to the EHRP:

https://secure2.convio.net/ips/site/Donation2?1580.donation=form1&df_id=1580

 

 

 

Princeton University offers a summer journalism program in August for about two dozen high school American students from low-income backgrounds. 2018 will mark its 17th edition.

 

It’s a ten-day intensive seminar that includes aftercare such as mentoring and assistance with applying to colleges. It covers all the students’ expenses, including travel to and from Princeton.

 

Donate to the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program:

http://www.princeton.edu/sjp/donations/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Support, and Learn From, Repairers of the Breach

Support, and learn from, Repairers of the Breach, a nonprofit ecumenical organization that has had great success with pushing back against ultra-conservatism and its ill effects.

 

Repairers of the Breach is a North Carolina-based organization helmed by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Under his leadership it created the Moral Monday protests in 2013, weekly actions at the North Carolina state legislature that drew attention to a new social justice issue each week.

 

Repairers of the Breach and its leader, Rev. Barber, is building a contemporary version of the movement that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led five decades ago. It targets the ills of racism, poverty, and extreme militarism with a clear, progressive moral vision.

 

The ideas and the passion of Barber and the Repairers of the Breach needs to spread farther and wider. Please read their literature, learn from their events, and support their work in whatever way you can.

 

Visit the Repairers of the Breach website:

http://www.breachrepairers.org

 

Read its blog:

http://www.breachrepairers.org/blog/

 

Subscribe to the Repairers of the Breach email list:

http://www.breachrepairers.org/subscribe/

 

Donate to Repairers of the Breach:

http://www.breachrepairers.org/donate/

 

Like its Facebook page and learn about upcoming events, some of which are streamed:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/breachrepairers/events/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@BRepairers

 

Purchase Barber’s books, Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation and The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear, via Powell’s:

http://www.powells.com/book/forward-together-a-moral-message-for-the-nation-9780827244948/62-0

http://www.powells.com/book/third-reconstruction-9780807007419/62-0

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

 

 

Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Support the New Poor People’s Campaign, Which Furthers the Work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Support the revived Poor People’s Campaign, which will carry on the work that Martin Luther King Jr. was advocating in the months and years before his 1968 assassination.

 

Led by Rev. Dr William Barber II, creator of the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina, the new Poor People’s Campaign will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original by updating and carrying on its efforts to improve the lives of the poor on many fronts–fighting racism, improving access to jobs, health care, and housing, and more. It will also take aim at cultural tropes that blame the poor for their poverty.

 

The new Poor People’s Campaign, a nonpartisan, peaceful movement, will begin on Mother’s Day–Sunday May 13, 2018–with events in at least 25 states as well as Washington, D.C.

 

For each of six weeks, the campaign will highlight a different injustice, starting with child poverty. The program will culminate in a mobilization at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on June 21, but it will represent the first major event in the revived campaign.

 

 

See the Poor People’s Campaign website:

https://poorpeoplescampaign.org

 

 

Read about its Fundamental Principles:

https://poorpeoplescampaign.org/index.php/fundamental-principles/

 

 

Learn about Dr. King’s vision for the original Poor People’s Campaign of the late 1960s:

https://poorpeoplescampaign.org/index.php/poor-peoples-campaign-1968/

 

 

Donate to the Poor People’s Campaign:

https://poorpeoplescampaign.org/index.php/donate/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Like the Poor People’s Campaign on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/anewppc/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@UniteThePoor

 

 

Read a story from The Root on the new Poor People’s Campaign:

https://www.theroot.com/moral-revival-of-america-modern-day-poor-people-s-ca-1821032951?utm_source=theroot_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

 

 

Read another article from The Root on Barber leaving the presidency of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP to lead the new Poor People’s Campaign:

https://www.theroot.com/rev-william-barber-ii-legendary-civil-rights-leader-1795137036