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VIDEO: New "Below the Line" Poverty Series

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Political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry has just launched a new poverty-focused segment on her eponymous MSNBC show. "Below the Line," Harris-Perry announced, will focus on "regular stories of people living below the line, the policies and decisions that create the poverty in which they live, what they are doing to survive in tough circumstances, and what we can do as a nation to affect poverty."

"Below the Line" will also look closely at what the Obama administration is doing to help the 46 million Americans living below the poverty line. "Let me be crystal clear--those aren't numbers, those are people," Harris-Perry said. 

The segment is a small, but significant move toward increased coverage of poverty by mainstream media outlets. Back in September, Extra!, the magazine of the non-profit group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, ran an article titled "Media Not Concerned About the Very Poor." The piece cited a FAIR study that found that only 0.2 percent of stories about the presidential campaign "addressed poverty in a substantive way."

Hopefully by the time the next presidential election rolls around in 2016, that statistic will have drastically improved. 


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