Another week, another journalism fellowship program that’s new to me.
This one, the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, “aims to change the national conversation around both poverty and economic insecurity.”
I came across a mention of the project at the bottom disclosure/sponsorship section of this WAMU segment featuring Kavitha Cardoza (How Traditional Nonprofits Run Into Problems Trying To Tackle Poverty).There’s also a writeup from Inside philanthropy-washingtonmonthly-com with some helpful background.
The project was founded by Barbara Ehrenreich, who famously wrote an immersive book, “Nickel and Dimed.” In the model of the FSA and WPA programs of the Depression, the EHRP commissions stories that “put a human face on financial instability” and places them with everyone from the The New York Times to Slate to MSNBC.
So far, there appear to have been a handful of articles focused on education and/or inequality, including an Atlantic piece about “homework inequality” called The Value of Having a Parent Around After School , a photo essay on Medium/BRIGHT called Middle School As Seen Through The Eyes Of A Teacher’s Cell Phone, and a Nation piece Hedge Funds With Schools Attached.
Publication partners include The Atlantic, the NYT, New Yorker, Vogue, Slate, Rolling Stone, Nation, MSNBC, Vogue, The Verge, Vice, etc. Other categories listed on the site include Cities Criminal Justice Families Health Housing Immigrants Reproduction and Workers.
Funders include the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ford, the Open Society, the Ms. Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, and others.
In an ideal world, there would be more, deeper pieces focusing on the role of schools in society — it’s all about education, according to me — and of course there would be a much more diverse set of contributors and staffers than currently seems to be the case.
It seems especially important to find and commission journalists who come from various backgrounds and cultures to report on inequality. As Renaissance Journalism’s Jon Funabiki mentioned last week, finding diverse reporters is a challenge that requires a pro-active approach, rather than a passive one.
But of course it’s a good thing that the EHRP is there, and I’m glad to know about it and share it with anyone who might want to apply for the program.