Comprehensive and interdisciplinary, this collection explores the complex, and often problematic, ways in which the news media shapes perceptions of poverty.

Editor Sandra L. Borden and a diverse collection of scholars and journalists question exactly how the news media can reinforce (or undermine) poverty and privilege. This book is divided into five parts that examine philosophical principles for reporting on poverty, the history and nature of poverty coverage, problematic representations of people experiencing poverty, poverty coverage as part of reporting on public policy and positive possibilities for poverty coverage. Each section provides an introduction to the topic, as well as a broad selection of essays illuminating key issues and a Q&A with a relevant journalist. Topics covered include news coverage of corporate philanthropy, structural bias in reporting, representations of the working poor, the moral demands of vulnerability and agency, community empowerment and citizen media. The book’s broad focus considers media and poverty at both the local and global levels with contributors from 16 countries.

This is an ideal reference for students and scholars of media, communication and journalism who are studying topics involving the media and social justice, as well as journalists, activists and policy makers working in these areas.

chapter |10 pages


The Problem of Poverty in the News Media
BySandra L. Borden

part I|81 pages


chapter 1|10 pages

Communitarian Ethics and Poverty Coverage

ByClifford G. Christians

chapter 2|9 pages

The Capability Approach and Media Coverage of People in Poverty

ByGottfried Schweiger

chapter 3|11 pages

Extreme Poverty as Human Rights Violation

Moral Duties and Public Engagement in the Global North
ByVincent Fang

chapter 4|11 pages

Precarious Photojournalism

The Ethics and Aesthetics of the Unrepresentable
BySieglinde Lemke

chapter 5|10 pages

Shared Vulnerability as a Virtuous Frame for Poverty Journalism

BySandra L. Borden

chapter 6|10 pages

Solidarity in U.S. Journalism

Social Justice Implications of How Journalists Humanize People Experiencing Homelessness
ByAnita Varma

chapter 7|10 pages

Social Empathy + Compassion

Building Blocks for Poverty Coverage
ByRyan J. Thomas

chapter 8|8 pages

Reporting on the Margins But Not Marginalizing with Dustin Dwyer

ByDustin Dwyer, Sandra L. Borden

part II|95 pages


chapter 9|10 pages

A Very Poor Watchdog

How the Political Economy Continues to Define News Reporting of Poverty in the Digital Era
ByJairo Lugo-Ocando

chapter 10|10 pages

Framing Poverty

An Historical Overview of Ways of Seeing Poverty
ByStuart Connor

chapter 11|11 pages

The Social Construction of Poverty in India

Role of News Media
ByAmeeta Motwani

chapter 12|9 pages

A History of Media Coverage of Poverty in the United States Since 1960

ByMelissa L. Newman, David R. Davies

chapter 13|9 pages

Ruin Porn and Virtue Porn

Licensing How We Talk About Perceptions of Urban Decay
ByFred Vultee

chapter 14|10 pages

Neoliberal Poverty Discourses in Canadian Newspapers

ByRobert Harding

chapter 15|14 pages

Coverage of Poverty in Business News

How Media Represent Public and Private Concern for People Living in Poverty
ByAndrea Pérez

chapter 16|11 pages

Living in a Material World

Celebrity Media Culture and Neoliberal Ideology in the Digital Age
ByJennifer Lewallen

chapter 17|8 pages

Urban Inequality and Marginalization with Chris Michael

ByChris Michael, Sandra L. Borden

part III|107 pages


chapter 18|10 pages

What about the Actors Involved in News about Poverty?

Disrupting Determinist Accounts
ByIsabel Awad

chapter 19|10 pages

The Picture of Poverty

Visual Images and Their Implications
ByRosalee A. Clawson

chapter 20|11 pages

Settler Colonial Representations of Indigenous Disadvantage

ByLisa Waller, Kerry McCallum

chapter 22|10 pages

The Cultural Image of the Fat Poor in German News Media

ByClaudia Müller

chapter 23|11 pages

Representations of the Working Poor

ByChristopher R. Martin

chapter 24|11 pages

Representation, Poverty and “Hillbilly Culture” in Appalachia

ByMichael Clay Carey

chapter 25|11 pages

To Cover or Not to Cover?

A Critical Discourse Analysis of Mainstream Media News Framing of Children in Kenyan Care Homes
ByAgnes Lucy Lando, Lydia Radoli

chapter 26|11 pages

“Not Sending Us Their Best”

Media Framings of Immigrants as the “Parasitic Poor”
ByJessica Brown

chapter 27|8 pages

News at a Time of Economic Hardship with Judith Matloff

ByJudith Matloff, Sandra L. Borden

part IV|92 pages


chapter 28|10 pages

Keep Calm and Carry On

Challenging a Discourse of Necessity and Forbearance in News Reporting of U.K. “Austerity” Policies
ByJen Birks

chapter 29|11 pages

Welfare in the Media

Issues of Coloniality and Symbolic Power in the Case of Metiria Turei
ByAhnya Martin, Pita King, Darrin Hodgetts

chapter 30|10 pages

Contesting the Narrative of Rootless Others

ByElida Høeg

chapter 31|9 pages

Not Just For Christmas

News Media Coverage of Homelessness
ByEoin Devereux

chapter 32|11 pages

Criminalization of Poverty

Fines, Fees, Money Bail and Much More
ByPeter Edelman

chapter 33|10 pages

From Community Empowerment to Infrastructure Reinforcement

Exploring the Shifting Media Narrative on Indigent Health Policy from Reagan to Obama
ByDanielle N. Gadson

chapter 34|10 pages

Housing Policy in the News

In Praise of Markets, Problematizing Residents in Poverty
ByLeslie Martin

chapter 36|9 pages

Water Access and Solutions Journalism with Jiquanda Johnson

ByJiquanda Johnson, Sandra L. Borden

part V|83 pages


chapter 37|10 pages

Amplifying the Deliberative Agency of Indigenous Communities in Philippine News Media

ByAthena Charanne Presto, Nicole Curato

chapter 38|11 pages

Constructive Journalism and Poverty Reduction in China

The Targeted Poverty Alleviation Campaign
ByYanqiu Zhang, Lanjuan Meng

chapter 39|12 pages

Citizen Media as a Counter-Narrative

Slum Journalism and the Kibera News Network
ByErica Hagen

chapter 40|11 pages

Refugees, Media Representation and Counter-Narrative

An Analysis of TEDxKakumaCamp
ByAndrew Skuse, Meredith Dowling

chapter 41|11 pages

“Filling the Void”?

Engagement between the Nonprofit Sector and Journalists in the Production of News about Poverty
ByKerry Moore, Sian Morgan Lloyd

chapter 42|10 pages

Longform Immersion

Situating Struggle as an In/Outsider
ByCass Sever

chapter 44|8 pages

Focused on Results, Building Trust with Monica Morales

ByMonica Morales, Sandra L. Borden