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ArchCity Defenders Announces Second Annual “Excellence in Poverty Journalism Awards” and Invites Community to Nominate Reporters

May 29, 2018

ArchCity Defenders, a civil rights nonprofit law firm, is pleased to announce the second annual Excellence in Poverty Journalism Awards and invites the community to nominate reporters. The Awards are designed to recognize and honor in depth reporting on race, class, and poverty, and to inspire more coverage.

“The St. Louis region continues to be held back by its inability to address in a serious and comprehensive way the stark disparities that exist across race and class,” said Blake Strode, Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders. “I don’t think there’s anything more important than telling the truth about these disparities and how they impact actual human beings living in this community every day. That is what the Poverty Journalism Awards are all about.”

At this year’s Awards, ArchCity Defenders will be honoring Dr. Donald Suggs, Publisher and Executive Editor of the St. Louis American, with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Poverty Journalism, for his commitment to publishing stories that raise critical awareness in the St. Louis region.

The community is invited to nominate regional journalists who have published a digital/print or audio/visual piece between April 1, 2017 and May 1, 2018. Digital/print may include newspaper, magazine, and/or online content; and, audio/visual may include podcast, tv, video, and/or radio. Nominations will be evaluated for their emphasis on centering individual experiences with poverty, classism, and racism within a systemic, historical analysis. To nominate, send the reporter’s  name, article headline, news outlet, and a link to the piece if it is available online to or tweet at @ArchCityDefense with #PovertyJournalismAwards.

The nomination period is open from May 29 to June 12, 2018. A three person panel will judge nominations. Finalists and honorable mentions will be publicly recognized at the Awards ceremony on Thursday, July 12, 2018 at ANEW Rooftop, and is co-hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri.

In St. Louis City, one in four people live in poverty; however, their stories are underreported and too often, not framed within a systemic context. As a result, the misperception of poverty as a personal failing continues to misshape public opinion and misguide public policy decisions.

In 2017, Nancy Cambria, Rebecca Rivas, Shaddress Burks, Ashley Winters, and Tony Messenger were the named awardees, with honorable mentions given to Clark Randall, Doyle Murphy, and Jeremy Kohler. For more information and photos from last year’s awards, click here.


Media Contact:
Z. Gorley, Communications Director at ArchCity Defenders