The importance of reporting for low-income people
According to National Endowment for Financial Education, 36 percent of Americans are financially fragile. The average millennial is worth about $8000 due to student loan debt, rising rent and increased cost of living. When talking about coverage, it is important for business journalists to not only report about people in poverty, but for them as well, writes The National Center for Business Journalists.
Often, journalists have been criticized for “barging” into sensitive situations, extracting the information required and leaving. When interviewing financially fragile individuals, it is important to bring sensitivity in your reporting.
Low income people are often treated in numbers or statistics. But, in reality the truth is that low income people are also normal human beings who are deprived of certain basic necessities of life. As journalists, we should give them a chance to tell their story and report that instead of measuring them in numbers and setting a “trend.”
Additionally, the extremely wealthy are reported in the news all the time, according to The Center. It’s important to remember that there are people in the U.S. living without basic necessities. For example, in Arizona, there are members of the Navajo nation who are without electricity.
Although poverty-stricken areas are desperate situations and do not reflect the majority of the nation, neither do the celebrities or billionaires. If journalists are not covering the entire spectrum of wealth and poverty, then we are not portraying an accurate picture of our nation, the Center says.
Lastly, a good journalist should be well-educated. If you are reporting on low income people, you should be well aware of the critical issues facing the working poor class. You may also refer to this fact sheet compiled by just Harvest, an anti-hunger and anti-poverty organization that busts some of the common myths about poverty.