Economic Hardship Reporting Project

EHRP was founded by renowned author Barbara Ehrenreich with one main purpose: support immersive reporting on the working poor, in the manner of Ehrenreich's own classic book "Nickel and Dimed." It is directed by Alissa Quart, author of a companion work of socially-oriented non-fiction, "Branded."


Header image by Michelle Frankfurter

The Economic Hardship Reporting Project aims to change the national conversation around both poverty and economic insecurity. The stories we commission – from narrative features to photo essays and video – put a human face on financial instability. We fund and place our reportage and photojournalism in the most renowned and popular sites and magazines, from The New York Times to Slate to MSNBC. 

EHRP is emerging in a bleak climate. The number of billionaires doubled between 2009 and 2014 but no one else saw much of a windfall. Despite economic growth, inequality continues to rise and poverty to soar. It’s the biggest domestic economic story of our lifetimes: intractable, long-term unemployment and a yawning income gap between the wealthy, the middle class and the working poor.

We at EHRP believe in telling the underreported stories of American inequality through a range of genres and contributors. Inspired by the FSA and the WPA of the Depression, we want to give voice and work to writers and photographers from unexpected quarters. Our aim is to humanize inequality: some of our writers and photographers are themselves financially on the edge, telling the stories of their communities.

Our multimedia work has been nationally recognized, with a first place award from POY and nominations for an Emmy and for a National Magazine Award in multimedia. Many of our articles are the most emailed and read on the major national media sites where they appear.

Editorial Independence Policy

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

We have co-published our work with these major national publications:


Our Team


Our Contributors


These foundations have generously supported the Economic Hardship Reporting Project: