Feb
01
2009

The Recession and the "Deserving Poor"

Poverty finally on media radar—but only when it hits the middle class

As the economy crumbles, issues of poverty and economic need have begun to make more frequent appearances in the news media. From October through December 2008, for example, the three nightly TV news shows ran 20 stories—about one every four or five days—addressing poverty or related issues such as homelessness or food stamps. A previous FAIR study of nightly news coverage (Extra!, 9-10/07), by comparison, found an average of one poverty story on the evening news every three weeks. More coverage, though, does not necessarily mean better coverage. And while swelling food-stamp rolls and unemployment lines may become media staples […]