KING 5 Reporter, John Sharify, to participate in a panel led by NBC’s Brian Williams


by Betsy Robertson

Posted on January 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

NBC News celebrates year long look at Poverty in America

Thursday, January 9 at the Newseum in Washington D.C.  

SEATTLE, January 3, 2013 – It started one year ago with a grant from the Ford Foundation; NBC News launched “In Plain Sight: Poverty in America” as an editorial initiative across its platforms.  Since that time, hundreds of stories have been broadcast, streamed and published online, all aimed at telling the story of poverty in America in the 21st century.

This Thursday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. a high-profile public event will help bring the first year of that series to its powerful conclusion.  NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor, Brian Williams, will moderate a small panel of journalists from across the country who are committed to covering issues of poverty and economic struggle. 

KING 5’s award winning Special Projects Reporter, John Sharify, will be among them.

“We were looking for the best local TV news reporter in the country who was committed to covering poverty and economic struggle, and, thanks to a tip from NBC News Correspondent (and former KING5 reporter) Joe Fryer, we found him: John Sharify is the perfect person to talk about covering these stories.” – Barbara Raab, Senior Producer, NBC News “In Plain Sight: Poverty in America” reporting initiative

The town hall event, titled: Poverty in America: Reporting the Story will take place in front of a live audience and be streamed live on January 9th at 7:30 p.m.

While January marks the first anniversary of the launch of In Plain Sight, it also marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s State of the Union speech launching the national “war on poverty.”  In 1964, 19% of Americans were living below the poverty line. From LBJ's declaration came programs like Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and cash assistance and, over the next decade, poverty rates in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level -- 11.1% -- since the government began keeping a comprehensive count.  Today, however, five years after the Great Recession, 15% of Americans – more than 46 million – live below the poverty line, tens of millions more are only marginally better off, and income inequality in the U.S. is at its highest level since the 1920s.

The event on January 9th will provide an opportunity to celebrate the end of the first year of this grant-supported reporting program, mark the 50th anniversary of the “war on poverty” and launch a larger discussion about poverty in America, and the role of journalists and journalistic institutions in covering stories about the issue.

Betsy Robertson
Director of Communications & Community Relations
(206) 448-5555,

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