Covering Poverty is a toolkit for journalists who want to learn more about expanding their coverage of low-income residents and the cyclical nature of poverty in the news. Developed at the University of Georgia in 2008, the Covering Poverty website presents tutorials, case studies and links — particularly through a weekly newsletter — for subscribers. See faculty bios below to read more about the people who first developed the tutorials and case studies on this site.

If you have any questions about the weekly updates, please contact freelance journalist and newsletter curator Carolyn Crist at crist.carolyn@gmail.com. Thank you!

Faculty Bios

Jorge H. Atiles
Oklahoma State University

Jorge H. Atiles is the Associate Dean of Extension and Engagement at Oklahoma State University’s College of Human Services. Prior to this appointment he served as associate dean for outreach and extension at the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences. He participated in Latino community outreach for the UGA Extension Office. Atiles received the Walter Barnard Hill Award given by UGA’s public service and outreach department in 2005. Before working with the University, Atiles was employed by Athens-Clarke County as manager of federal housing programs and by the National Housing Bank in the Dominican Republic. He earned his doctorate in housing at Virginia Tech.

(Leye Moery assisted with the research for the development of this tutorial.)

Douglas C. Bachtel
Professor, College of Family and Consumer Sciences
University of Georgia

Douglas C. Bachtel is a professor of housing and consumer economics at the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences. He is editor of the Georgia County, the Georgia Municipal and the Georgia Housing guides. In 1999, Bachtel received the prestigious Walter Barnard Hill Award for Distinguished Public Service and Outreach given to University faculty who make significant contributions to the community. He earned his doctorate degree in rural sociology from Ohio State University.

Juanita E. Blount-Clark
Carl Vinson Institute of Government
University of Georgia

Juanita E. Blount-Clark serves on the public service faculty at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. In more than two decades of service to the state government, Ms. Blount-Clark worked as a public health education consultant, director of the Office of Human Resource Development, and as a planner with Governor Zell Miller’s Initiative for Children and Families. In December 1999, Ms. Blount-Clark was appointed director of Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services.

Richard L. Clark
Associate Professor
Castleton State College

Richard L. Clark is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of History, Geography, Economics, and Politics (HGEP) and director of the Castleton Polling Institute. Before taking the position at Castleton, Clark ran the Survey Research and Evaluation Unit at the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. In his 10 years at the University of Georgia, Clark conducted numerous public opinion polls and citizen satisfaction surveys for state, local, and national clients. In 2001, Clark started the Peach State Poll—a state-wide quarterly opinion poll focusing on policy issues that affect the lives of Georgians. Before his tenure at UGA, Clark taught political science at the University of Connecticut. He also worked as a research associate with the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. Clark earned his doctorate at the University of Connecticut.

Tina M. Harris
Associate Professor, Department of Speech Communication
University of Georgia

Harris is a communication scholar with research interests in interracial communication, pedagogy, and race and ethnic disparities in health communication. She co-authored the textbook Interracial Communication: Theory to Practice. She has been a co-investigator on federally funded grants from both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) designed to explore the ways in which the lay public communicates about genetics and race, and health.

Jeff Jordan
Director, Administrative Agriculture and Applied Economic Research
University of Georgia

Jeff Jordan is a professor of agriculture and applied economics at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He earned his doctorate in agricultural economics at Michigan State University.

Lance Palmer
Assistant Professor
College of Family and Consumer Sciences University of Georgia

Lance Palmer is an assistant professor of housing and consumer economics at the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Palmer serves as the Family Financial Planning program director. He earned his doctorate in consumer sciences from Utah State University.

Lisa Schnellinger
President & Co-owner of NearMedia LLC

Lisa Schnellinger has more than 30 years of experience in the U.S. and overseas, as a reporter, editor, photographer, trainer and media developer.

Poverty coverage has been part of Lisa’s career from the beginning,in 1980, where Ohio’s Steel Valley was in the midst of its downward spiral. She spent much of her four years at the Warren Tribune-Chronicle reporting on unemployment, poverty, and related social issues. Moving to Seattle, her coverage of education and urban politics explored race, demographics and the wealth and income gap.

Lisa gained a new perspective on poverty and economic development when she began to train journalists in developing countries and emerging democracies. Since 1991 she has created, managed, and edited reporting projects as well as training local journalists in Afghanistan, Armenia, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Iraq, the Pacific Islands, United Arab Emirates, and other countries.

Throughout her career, Lisa has also worked as a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. In recent years she has returned to local issues in America, developing and writing for community websites in North Georgia. She continues to work long-distance with her colleagues in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region

Patricia Thomas
Professor, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Georgia

Pat Thomas holds the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She leads a new graduate program concentration in health and medical journalism. Thomas has written about medicine, public health and life science. Thomas was also one of the first healthy volunteers injected with an experimental HIV vaccine. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the University of Georgia Press.

Contributing Graduate Student(s)

Grey Pentecost
Graduate Research Student, Grady College of Mass Communication
University of Georgia

Pentecost is a graduate student in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia. These tips are drawn from interviews with journalism professors across the U.S. whose courses include instruction on coverage of poverty. See list of faculty above.