The aim of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project (EHRP) is to change the national conversation around poverty and economic insecurity.
The journalism we commission—from narrative features and photo essays to documentary films—puts a human face on financial instability.
What We Do
EHRP funds and co-publishes reportage at the most renowned and popular media outlets, from The New York Times and The Guardian to Vice.
We are a lean organization with the energetic mentality of a start-up.
Our model is nimble and able to respond to the news in days, not weeks or months. We don’t make our journalists jump through hoops to get funded.
That means supporting writers—not just editorially and financially, but also paying for a computer repair or sending Target gift cards to an unbanked journalist for payment. We recognize that poverty complicates lives.
We value diversity.
About 31 percent of our contributors are people of color, and about 68 percent are women.
We don’t just preach to the converted.
We’re actively engaged in a “culture jamming” strategy to get our stories into media outlets that rarely cover poverty.
We’re increasing geographic diversity in national coverage.
Rural parts of America have been routinely ignored by the national media, and local publications have contracted enormously since 2008, enabling propagandists to fill the vacuum. Through our On the Ground series, an innovative partnership with The Guardian, we hire independent journalists to report substantive features from the heartland and South. We go on to place these pieces in local publications such as Mountain Outlaw (Big Sky, Mont.), The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.) and The Des Moines Register.
Our work has won an Emmy and been nominated for a National Magazine Award. Based in part on their work with EHRP, two of our contributors have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships and one has received a Getty grant. Our contributors’ multimedia work was nationally recognized in 2016 with a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for domestic photography and an Excellence in Photojournalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. In 2017 we won the Los Angeles Press Club Award for commentary, and EHRP work has twice been included in Houghton Mifflin’s Best American series.
EHRP emerged in 2012 in a bleak climate. The number of billionaires doubled between 2009 and 2014, but few others else saw much of a windfall. Despite economic growth, inequality continues to rise and poverty to soar. It’s unquestionably one of the biggest domestic stories of our lifetime: intractable, long-term unemployment and yawning income gaps between the wealthy, the middle class and the working poor.
Inspired by the Farm Security Administration and the Works Progress Administration initiatives of the Great Depression, we seek to give voice and work to writers and photographers from underrepresented quarters. Our aim is to humanize inequality: Our writers and photographers, some of whom may be on the brink of poverty themselves, tell intimate, heartbreaking and sometimes shocking stories originating from their own communities.
EHRP is fiscally sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies.
To view our fiscal sponsor’s 990 form, click here.
For more information about EHRP’s financial records, contact us.
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.