The Economic Hardship Reporting Project helps to fill an enormous gap in media coverage of economic issues. Reporting is overwhelmingly tilted so that the focus is on the concerns and lives of the rich and powerful. This is not only in the focus on corporate profits and stock market fluctuations, but also in the lives of the individuals who we hear about as part of the "economy."
We can count on seeing endless stories on how best to deal with a 401(k), the best strategies for our kids to get through the college application process, and even helpful tips on hiring nannies. These accounts can be useful information for the wealthiest segment of the population, but they don't tell us anything about the people who don't have 401(k)s, can't afford college for their kids, and wouldn't dream of hiring a nanny.
The Economic Hardship Reporting Project (EHRP) is an important effort to fill this gap. It presents the people who are just struggling to get by in today's economy, which is unfortunately a larger group than those who think about hiring nannies. The EHRP tells the stories of people that many in the business press would just as soon not hear. It is important that these stories get out to the public and that people be reminded of the economy beyond the stock market.
Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder & Co-Director of ROC-United
"The Economic Hardship Project is essential in the moment of the greatest income inequality in this nation's history. Training reporters to report on the needs and concerns of low-wage workers is building a critical pipeline of reporters experienced in and dedicated to lifting up the needs and stories of the 11 million restaurant workers we organize, and the millions more who make this country run but are unable to survive."
Timothy Noah, Editor at POLITICO & author of "The Great Divergence"
“The Economic Hardship Reporting Project has quickly made itself necessary and important in the journalism world by putting a human face on economic suffering. When I see that a story was developed by the EHRP I know that it will be deeply reported and free of sanctimony. The project’s story selection is smart and its reporters’ eye for telling detail is sharp. Reading EHRP’s stories I almost always learn something important that I never knew, usually presented in a strikingly original and compelling way."