The 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." 

Today, 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.


Our Team

Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich is the Founder and Executive Editor of EHRP. An acclaimed journalist, author and Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Barbara has worked with her IPS colleagues to synthesize and catalyze a broad consensus among working journalists, community organizers, service providers and policy analysts: the U.S. public and its policymakers need help confronting and addressing the scope and depth of economic hardship in the wake of the economic collapse of 2008 and its continuing reverberations. Her leadership role in EHRP is twofold.  She is writing big picture analytic pieces that remind us of the basics that the national conversation often ignores. Barbara is also working closely with other Project contributors as they develop and research their stories.

Alissa Quart

Alissa Quart is the Editor in Chief of EHRP. She is also the author of three non-fiction books, Branded (Basic Books, 2003) and Hothouse Kids (Penguin Press, 2006), and Republic of Outsiders (The New Press, 2013). She has written features for The New York Times Magazine, Elle, The Atlantic, The Nation, Pacific Standard and many other magazines and has contributed frequent reported opinion pieces to The New York Times and elsewhere. She wrote and produced the Emmy- and ASME-nominated multimedia project “The Last Clinic” among other multimedia projects. She has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism among other universities and was a 2010 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Her first book of poetry Monetized is out in March 2015 from Miami University Press. Follow on Twitter @lisquart.




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