By Sarah Freeman
A website packed with resources, curated content and checklists for journalists has been redesigned and relaunched by Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
CoveringPovertyToolkit.com is an online directory of content related to writing and reporting about poverty in communities, as a service to journalists nationwide. A weekly newsletter is also generated from the website highlighting new content.
The site, directed by Diane Murray, Grady’s director of alumni relations and outreach, and administered by Carolyn Crist, was created to answer a need in the industry. According to Murray, poverty is intertwined with so many topics covered by media outlets—education, health, crime—but due to shrinking staffs, there are few journalists who specialize in issues of poverty.
“Very few outlets have a poverty beat,” Murray said, “but, covering poverty applies to everyone in journalism.”
The original Covering Poverty website was created in 2009 by Murray; Crist, who was then a student; and John Greenman, professor of journalism, who retired in 2015. The relaunch of CoveringPovertyToolkit.com, which has returned under a new domain name after a hiatus of about a year, was designed and is maintained by Crist.
“The website is a quick, weekly check-in where journalists from all beats can find a way to report on poverty,” Crist said, summing up the site.
Murray agrees: “When people have limited time and money to do things, I think it provides a good service.”
The website is financially supported through a renewing grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting children, families and communities.
Through the years, the website has benefited journalists from around the country including Jaclyn Cosgrove, a metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who has used the site in the past.
“Covering Poverty is a great resource for journalists because it offers ideas in a thoughtful, practical way,” Cosgrove said. For reporters new to the topic, it provides a host of ideas to get started. For veterans, Covering Poverty will help you find ideas or angles that you haven’t explored or maybe missed in the hectic world of day-to-day beat reporting.”
The website features easy-to-scan, bulleted content including:
- Tutorials: eleven topics including education, politics and race to name a few highlight statistics and step-by-step approaches for story ideas in each chapter.
- Blog: updated regularly, this blog features info-graphics and statistics on issues related to poverty.
- Resources: includes links to key websites and statistics for journalists, tipsheets, case studies and more.
Journalists and other interested citizens are invited to subscribe to the Covering Poverty newsletter, or to view the September 19, 2018, issue of Covering Poverty.