Covering Poverty is the cornerstone project of the Journalism Writing Lab, an initiative of the Cox Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership at the University of Georgia.
What is it
The Covering Poverty project is two-pronged:
1. Updating the website with fresh, new content for industry peers
2. Providing stories about poverty-related matters for our partners, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Athens Banner-Herald, The Oglethorpe Echo and The Current
Why We Need It
There has never been a better time to equip journalists to report about underserved communities. From daily spot reporting to service journalism to award-winning documentary journalism and longform narratives in written, audio and video formats, there’s a demand and desire for storytelling on this topic.
Since the original Covering Poverty project’s inception in 2009, the site has provided reporting resources to more than 500 journalists for news media organizations ranging from local newspapers to network television.
“Starting out as a freshman contributor for The Red & Black, I had a lot to learn about reporting and writing. I wanted to respect all my subjects and sources, and the resources I found through Covering Poverty made a huge difference in the way I approached reporting. As a complete beginner, Covering Poverty helped me to become more confident and capable, and I continue to use its resources today.”Katie Guenthner, education beat reporter for The Red & Black
- Lori Johnston (BA ’95, MFA ’17), director of the Journalism Writing Lab and Covering Poverty Initiative and a lecturer in the Department of Journalism
- Journalism students, recent graduates and freelancers
Covering Poverty was created with a grant awarded in 2008 by the University of Georgia Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, sponsored by the UGA Research Foundation.
A special thank you to John Greenman, professor of journalism, emeritus, and Diane Murray, director of alumni relations and outreach, who directed the program. Upon Greenman’s retirement in 2015, Murray continued to direct the program. Carolyn Crist (ABJ 09, MA ’14) started with the project as an undergraduate honors student and later was administrator of the website.
A $7,500 grant in 2020-2021 from the Scripps Howard Foundation funded the plans to relaunch Covering Poverty, an online initiative that began more than a decade ago.