BUSTED: Go-Behind the-Scenes with WNYC’s On the Media in Ohio (Watch)

*This series was originally released in fall 2016.*

Today, more than 40 million Americans live in poverty. The problem has been addressed countless times since the nation’s founding, but it persists — and for the poorest among us, it gets worse. America has not been able to find its way to a sustainable solution, because most of its citizens see the problem of poverty from a distance, through a distorted lens.

Host Brooke Gladstone traveled to Ohio, a state that reflects the varied nature of poverty, to talk directly with people who are poor and understand how they got that way, and why, under current policies, they are likely to stay that way. We examine how the story of poverty gets told — and whether media attention makes any difference — with the help of Jack Frech, a longtime Athens County welfare director who has been leading reporters on “poverty tours” of Appalachia for decades.

This series was produced by our partners at WNYC’s On the Media. “Busted: America’s Poverty Myths” is produced by Meara Sharma and Eve Claxton, with special thanks to Nina Chaudry.