BUSTED #1: The Poverty Tour (LISTEN)

*This series was originally released in fall 2016.*

Listen to the whole episode here:

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. So we present “Busted: America’s Poverty Myths,” a series exploring how our understanding of poverty is shaped not by facts, but by private presumptions, media narratives, and the tales of the American Dream.

Brooke 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. You’ll hear from them over the next several weeks. But first, 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.