Janesville37°

Poverty series something special from Gazette

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Scott Angus
August 21, 2008

Local news is the biggest and most important niche for the Gazette and other papers. Within that local niche, however, are many types of news – ranging from the winners of the bridge tournament at the senior center to the major issues confronting the community.

We try to cover them all, but we’re hoping to put more emphasis on important issues. No other medium has the resources or the inclination to dive into complex local topics and give the perspective that only hours and hours of work can provide.

Starting Sunday, the Gazette offers its latest effort – and most comprehensive in years – to bring attention to a big issue in Janesville: the growth in poverty among families.

The three-day series by reporter Stacy Vogel looks at many angles of the poverty problem, moving from causes to effects to possible solutions. The centerpiece of the project is a family of five led by a single mother. Her experiences and lessons typify what’s happening in our community.

The poverty series is a result of nearly eight months of planning and work. Besides Vogel, photo intern Matt Wisniewski and photographer Al Hoch devoted considerable time to the project, as did other editors who helped direct and design the project.

I’ve seen the growth in poverty in many ways in recent years, and I’ve wanted our staff to take a good look at the issue. Now, we’ve done it, and we’ve done it well. The series doesn’t cover every aspect, and it doesn’t have all the answers. But it does contain an incredible amount of important information that can help the community begin to sort out the problems and ways to address them.

When we first began planning the series, we had a vision of what we hoped it would be. It’s pretty much what we had in mind. I hope you’ll check it out in the paper or online starting Sunday. We’ve created a special page at Gazettextra.com for the series.



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