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How Poverty Affects Our American Children
The article titled, Lifting the Veil, addresses the growing poverty in the United States among young children. Three newspapers-The Orange County Registrar, The St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Atlanta-Journal Constitution decided to release articles in their newspapers from real life cases of children who fall subject to the effects of poverty.
The Orange County Registrar published an article claiming that 19 percent of the children in their county lived in poverty. Some families lived in motels, due to minimum wage jobs, worked by their parents, not providing enough income to make ends meet. Some wages so low that children went without breakfast because it was a luxury they couldn’t afford. The county residents came together with large amounts of donations ranging from food and money to toys. Housing issues were even addressed, but while the journalists were relieved they had made an impact, they worried about the long term effects as this was a means to a temporary solution, not a permanent change for American families.
The Pioneer Press used public journalism in order to raise awareness of how little the workforce is paying out, causing people to be in poverty. The focus was more on how poverty affects children and teenagers, posing a question of how equal the opportunity for education really is for children and teens that are in poverty. Are children who are in poverty have the same opportunity to get the same good grades as any other children in their class? Does a teenager who is in poverty have an equal advantage when their personal hygiene is affected? The paper even took a step further in being proactive to make an impact in the community. They started support groups and organizations, resources that encourage and help people in Minnesota in the fight against poverty. Still, the long-term impact is a concern for many.
Again another publishing press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in Georgia attempts to address poverty. The overwhelming areas of poverty are astounding from healthcare problems, crime, nursing homes that spread across urban, suburban, rural and immigrant spectrums. The newspaper states that these are problems that do not get addressed but rather have multilevel problems that need to be addressed, including government agencies not doing their job.
This journal issue also addresses holes in the tailored welfare reform and questions how much of an impact the reform has really made of poverty, and whether it is for the better or for the worse. It brings to light how an adjustment to benefits and how much sooner state support is dwindled down. There are less work incentives and there is question as to how good the reform has done as there seems to be a “blind spot” in the statistics. The press hopes that while publishing an article on poverty will not solve the problem of poverty as a whole, there is hope that exposing reality will shed some light on low wages and the effects of minimum wage to cost of living and how many Americans are left high and dry. Exposing such harsh truths may bring about awareness and a change for the better.
In closing, you might say, “What does this have to do with nonverbal communication?” In my mind, it has a lot to do with nonverbal communication because people’s lives will portray, nonverbally, the conditions they are in and how their behaviors are affected by having little to nothing. It causes a debate on what can be done about it to bring about change in our own backyard.
Lieberman, T. (2001). Lifting the veil: in a gilded age, some are reporting about the less fortunate.. Columbia Journalism Review, 39 issue 5(January/February), p57-59, 3p. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy.mclennan.edu/ehost/detail?vid=8&sid=e56c9978-5d2a-4cf8-96ce-74a30de98fd4%40sessionmgr13&hid=14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=hft&AN=503759102